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Deputy reeve to join new trucking committee

New committee will also include representatives from agriculture, forestry and other industries with aim to get more truck drivers on the road

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY – Deputy reeve and Division 2 councillor Greg Harris will participate on a new stakeholder group being set up by the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) to develop a competency-based training program for newly licensed Class 1 drivers and trucking employers.

The AMTA is assembling a group of between 24 and 30 volunteers who will provide guidance and expertise to the Commercial Truck Driver Competency Training Project group.

Council discussed the matter at a regularly scheduled council meeting, held in person and online in June.

“This arises out of a meeting many months ago that the reeve and I had with one of the larger employees in the county who expressed concerns and interest in doing something to raise the profile of the position of truck driver into being a profession as opposed to just being a job,” Harris told council.

“I made contact with AMTA through some folks I used to work with (Harris is a former Calgary police officer) and was able to find out that they were in the process of getting funds from the government to do a study and a working group to raise the profile of truck driving where it could be a more attractive career for young people,” he said.

“It has the prospect of making it a lot better for our employer in the county, so my interest is, if council approves, to continue with the group.”

The stakeholder group’s work is expected to continue through April 2025.

In a letter sent to Harris and Mountain View County, AMTA industry advisor Rob Dombowsky said project aims to “assist the commercial transportation industry in finding solutions to the labour issue we currently face. This project aligns with the interests of the trucking industry in promoting sustainable workforce practices.

“Through surveys and data collection, valuable information will be gathered to better understand how to attract, employ and retain these new drivers, benefiting the industry as a whole.”

Coun. Peggy Johnson said, “I think any time Mountain View County can be involved at the grassroots level and make things better, I’m certainly a big support of that.”

Reeve Angela Aalbers said, “I echo councillor Johnson’s comment. I think this is a great opportunity for us to be involved and I think it is going to impact a lot of the businesses in Mountain View County positively.

“It will give use an opportunity to gather a lot more information if we do want to go to the province and have these great discussions with them on economic development and trying to increase the opportunities for businesses to come into Mountain View County.”

Committee members will include representatives from agriculture, forestry and other industries, council heard.

Participation on the committee will take place largely online, said Harris.

Council passed a motion to support councillor Harris’s participation on the Commercial Truck Driver Competency Training Project stakeholder committee.

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