Our Two Cents

OBAC and NLITA Team-up on Local, National Issues

St. John's, NFLD. (May 29, 2004) -- The Owner-Operator's Business Association of Canada today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Newfoundland & Labrador Independent Truckers Association (NLITA). The agreement creates an alliance between the associations that will see better representation for NLITA members on national issues and the creation of the first of OBAC's provincial/regional caucuses.

"The provincial associations will always be closer and more responsive to the local issues than a national association could be," said OBAC's executive director, Joanne Ritchie. "But OBAC believes national representation will give the local associations the scope to take members' concerns beyond provincial boundaries, especially since many issues are common across the country."  

The alliance between OBAC and NLITA demonstrates that owner-operators can indeed see eye to eye in developing solutions to problems, and can work together toward a common set of goals. NLITA has already had success in working with the provincial government and the Newfoundland and Labrador Carriers Association in improving carrier relations and highway safety.

  "It's a good time to move forward with this alliance, given the current concerns of the owner-operator community," said NLITA president, Jon Summers. "I said when we started NLITA that we'd be even more effective under the umbrella of some larger, national organization, and now that OBAC is moving in the right direction, I'm thrilled to be combining our efforts for the benefit of all owner-operators."   OBAC and NLITA will strive for good working relations with provincial governments and the local business communities in an effort to improve the business climate for Canada's small business truckers, and in a broader context, work to improve highway safety and the image of the owner-operator and the industry in general.   OBAC will continue to seek alliances with existing associations that share OBAC's goals in order to strengthen the presence of the owner-operator in Canada.   "It's good to see owner-operators now have a voice that will be heard right across the country," said Duncan, B.C.-based OBAC vice president, Don Robertson. "Owner-operators will now be well-served from coast to coast."   Robertson and Summers signed the MOU at the NLITA annual meeting in St. John's today.  

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OBAC is an innovative, responsive, and results-oriented organization -- the voice of the small-business trucker in Canada.
Owner-Operator's Business Association of Canada (OBAC)
275 Slater Street, Suite 900
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5H9
Telephone: 613-237-6222
Toll Free: 888-794-9990
Fax: 888-205-9991
Website: www.obac.ca
Joanne Ritchie
Executive Director, OBAC
Jon Summers
President, NLITA
P.O. Box 5596
St. John's, NL
A1C 5W4




The Newfoundland & Labrador Independent Truckers Association (NLITA) was formed in 2000 when rising fuel and other operating costs made it clear that owner-operators and small independent trucking companies needed strong representation to express their concerns. Since then, NLITA has done much to improve the quality of life for its members and their families.   NLITA has established its credibility within the Newfoundland and Labrador transportation industry, having earned the reputation of being a stabilizing influence for the owner-operators it represents. The volunteer group has developed an outstanding working relationship with the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial government by lending expertise to improve highway safety in the province. Several recommendations put forth by NLITA have already been accepted and acted upon.   Over the past few years, NLITA has been working to develop solutions that plague not only owner-operators but the entire trucking industry, such as the Marine Atlantic ferry service between North Sydney, NS and Port Aux Basque, NL, truck routing in the city of St. John's, and the transport of fresh fish products. Last summer, NLITA organized the "Teddy Bear Run" as a fund raising event for the Janeway Childrens' Hospital in St. John's. Together with the Newfoundland and Labrador Carriers Association and the Transportation Club of St. John's, the group raised $16,000 for the charity.