B.C. appointing new container trucking commissioner

THE Province announced on Tuesday it is appointing Andy Smith as the container trucking commissioner to support better working conditions for container truckers and to ensure efficient and reliable operations at Port Metro Vancouver.

Smith, in his role as president and chief executive officer of the BC Maritime Employers Association, has been integral to advancing B.C. and Canada’s economic interests in the Asia Pacific Gateway by building productive relationships between the shipping lines, terminals and their unions. Smith has previously concluded two historic eight-year collective agreements on the waterfront, which have greatly improved Canada and B.C.’s Asia Pacific Gateway’s international reputation for reliability.

When appointed, Smith will support the mandate of ensuring long-term stability in the sector by:

* Assuming responsibility for all Truck Licencing System licences in place following the licence reform undertaken by Port Metro Vancouver.

* Establishing, and then consulting with an Industry Advisory Committee on issues relevant to the sector,

* Setting any future rates moving forward based on consultations with industry and the Industry Advisory Committee,

* Having oversight of the whistle-blower line, investigations and enhanced auditing and enforcement.

By appointing the province’s first container trucking commissioner, the government said it is meeting its commitments under the March 2014 Joint Action Plan and is acting on recommendations made by mediators Vince Ready and Corrin Bell.

The Province enacted the Container Trucking Act in December 2014 to provide fair wages and working conditions for truckers and to ensure efficient operation and global competitiveness of Port Metro Vancouver, which is critical to a robust provincial and national economy.

Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, said: “I congratulate Andy Smith on his appointment. He brings with him a wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge of the sector and I’m confident he’ll be able to positively engage with labour and industry and bring much needed stability to the ports, which are of enormous importance to our provincial and national economies.”