Saskatchewan’s Minister of Highways Emphasizes the Importance of a Harmonized Framework for Sustainable Economic Growth
November 22, 2022 | Category: News Releases
Calgary, Alberta, November 22, 2022—WESTAC members gathered in Calgary for the annual Fall Member Forum with the theme “Driving Future Change in Transportation.” Shippers, railways, ports and terminals, governments and labour leaders discussed the ongoing challenges related to supply chains and workforce challenges and examined potential paths forward.
Hon. Jeremy Cockrill, Minister of Highways, Government of Saskatchewan, and Chair of WESTAC, opened the Forum by commenting on findings from the recent National Supply Chain Efficiency Task Force report, which identified several immediate actions Canada should take to keep its trade competitive and reliable.
“It’s encouraging to see the federal government agree that supply chain, regulatory and oversight issues need to be addressed. All levels of government need to be involved in crafting legislation and regulations that govern the national transportation system,” remarked Minister Cockrill.
Speakers provoked members to think more broadly when planning for the long-term and addressed major concerns that the industry is facing:
- Shifts in the workforce and skilled labour shortages
- The need to have a coordinated long-term infrastructure and transportation plan
- Innovation in transportation
Keynote speaker Brian David Johnson, a futurist, emphasized the need to take a proactive approach to address the shifting trends in the world and within organizations. To supplement his remarks, members had a chance to meet with him one-on-one to further their conversations.
The Forum also featured speakers from The Coalition for a Better Future, Teck Resources, Scale AI, Alberta Motor Transport Association, Centre for Future Work and Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business.
The Leader’s Council the following day featured a presentation by Louise Yako, Co-Chair of the National Supply Chain Efficiency Task Force. Members shared their thoughts on the Task Force report and recommendations. In line with one of the recommendations by the Task Force, the Port of Vancouver presented its supply chain visibility project.
“Without a long-term transportation plan, we are planning to fail. Forum participants agreed that a sector-wide conversation is required to develop a sustainable, cohesive long-term transportation plan that addresses bottlenecks and improves innovation in the industry,” noted Lindsay Kislock, WESTAC’s President & CEO.
The Western Transportation Advisory Council (WESTAC) is a council of organizations in the transportation sector represented by senior decision-makers. WESTAC’s members span all aspects of freight transportation in Canada. They include carriers and logistics providers, ports and terminals, shippers, labour unions, and the three levels of government. Members represent a significant share of the western Canadian economy. We focus on critical issues that affect Western Canada’s freight transportation network to ensure that it is safe, efficient, reliable and competitive.
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