Program - 2015 Spring Member Forum. Geopolitics & Trade: Shifting Markets – Impacts on Western Canada’s Economy & Transportation Network

This WESTAC Briefing has been prepared as a service to WESTAC members. It is intended to provide a summary of the main elements of the new regulatory framework for container trucking in the Vancouver area (“Lower Mainland”).

Mr. Tirole, 2014 Winner of Nobel Prize for Economics, has said, “regulation is a complex subject because it must be light enough to prevent entrepreneurship from being squelched,” while “at the same time you need to have a strong state which is going to enforce those regulations.” The discussion among Members was very much in the same vein: that regulation is sometimes difficult but, on occasion, essential. The key is to grasp the difficulties and proceed, cautiously aware of the complexities and subtleties.

Transportation industry leaders gathered in Winnipeg to discuss freight forecasts that impact Western Canada’s transportation network: potash, coal, agricultural products, energy products and containerized goods. Shippers and transportation providers then responded and outlined the challenges and opportunities of each commodity.

Supporting Continued Success: Disaster Management; And Regional Transportation Priorities

WESTAC Members identified public opposition as an issue of importance to the future of the transportation industry. It seems no matter where one turns, there is public opposition and angst regarding projects of all types and transportation is no different.

Forty individuals from across western Canada and representing all six sectors (Air, Construction, Logistics, Marine, Rail and Trucking) in the Asia Pacific Gateway were surveyed or interviewed to gather their impressions about the current priorities in technology and innovation investments. 

At WESTAC’s Semi-Annual Meeting, November 20 and 21 in Vancouver, Members heard from two provocative speakers presenting game-changing scenarios. Each scenario challenged the world as we know it on globalization, transportation networks and infrastructure development.

Trade policy should recognize that we live in a world of globally integrated production and there are very few products that are wholly Canadian anymore (or wholly from any one nation).

Beyond the Border is a declaration signed by the leaders of Canada and the U.S. in February 2011. It called for an Action Plan to work jointly on a perimeter approach to security and economic competitiveness to improve the legitimate flow of people, goods and services.