Grain Valley, Missouri – The U.S.-based Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has denounced a decision by Quebec Transportation Minister Julie Boulet regarding mandatory speed limiters on heavy-duty trucks. The OOIDA said that Boulet has “gone back on her commitment” and has required that all such trucks operating in the province must have an enabled speed limiter set at a maximum of 105 km/h starting January 1, 2009.

On December 13, 2007, during the article-by-article reading of Bill 42, Boulet said that Quebec would not implement the mandate until Transport Canada had completed studies evaluating the effectiveness of speed limiters, and until all other provinces had agreed to similar mandates. The study, released last spring, “by no means conveyed a glowing evaluation of mandated speed limiters in Canada,” according to a statement released by the OOIDA. Ontario is the only other province to have passed a speed limiter mandate.

“Our members are furious,” said Rick Craig, OOIDA’s director of regulatory affairs. “Not only is Minister Boulet going back on her word, she is also disregarding the grim implications this decision will have on trade at a time when Canada and the U.S. can least afford it.”

Craig said that trucks are exclusively responsible for moving 70 per cent of goods and commerce in North America, and 80 per cent of freight related to cross-border trade. “Considering that public officials throughout North America are scrambling to find ways to jump-start their economies, Quebec’s decision makes absolutely no sense. If Minister Boulet follows through with this announcement, thousands of truckers throughout Canada and the U.S. will effectively be barred from operating in Quebec. That is a serious anti-competitive move that cannot go unchallenged,” he said.

The OOIDA said that it is prepared to file a Notice of Intent to submit a claim to arbitration for breach of Canada’s obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement upon implementation of the speed limiter mandate.

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