Opposition parties are urging the Legault government to help artisanal truck drivers who have been suffocated by the meteoric rise in diesel prices in recent weeks.
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Members of the National Association of Artisan Truckers Inc. (ANCAI) demonstrated yesterday to denounce fuel costs, which have nearly doubled in a few months.
They call for a revision of the tariffs granted by the Ministry of Transport.
On Tuesday morning, the Parti Québécois offered to fully cover the difference between the current amount and the price at the pump.
“It’s compensation aimed at small truckers who want to see the difference between what they’re getting at the moment, ie the rack price, which is about $1.15, and their reality at the pump, 2 $20, then we’re willing to do it backdated to last month so the losses that are really destroying their business model are recovered quickly,” explained PQ head Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.
The PQ will submit a corresponding application on Tuesday. “Otherwise they are no longer able to act,” he added.
The measure affects around 5,200 employees. However, the training could not quantify how much this emergency aid would pay out for the truckers.
Mr St-Pierre Plamondon also said he was ready to review the prices required for taxis.
Support QS and PLQ
Without making concrete proposals, Solidarity and Liberals also urged the Legault government to find a solution to help these workers.
“I am asking the Quebec government to sit down with these people to find a way to compensate them. It’s not up to these workers to pick up the tab for the dizzying rise in gasoline prices right now,” said Québec Solidaire Parliamentary Chair Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, citing the concept of a “just transition.”
Liberal leader Dominique Anglade is also urging Quebec to find a solution.
“We’re talking about people who want to make a living, we’re talking about people … when we’re talking about taxis, we’re talking about people who want to make a living. Groceries are going up, inflation is going up and they can’t make ends meet. The government, the minister, he has a responsibility to find solutions,” she said.
Legault promises help
Prime Minister François Legault, who was arrested in the halls of Parliament, promised to intervene. “The truckers who have contracts with the government, we’re looking at how we can sort that out. It’s not normal for them to operate at a loss,” he argued.
Beyond the usual indexing formula, Transport Minister François Bonnardel promised to “find a formula that will be successful for both truck drivers and the Ministry of Transport”.