Insidetrack - Spring/Summer 2016 - (Page 24)

❱❱❱❱ FEATURE ADVOCATING FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE BY STEPHEN MURDOCH Since day one, the Canadian Association of Railway Suppliers (CARS) has been committed to helping its members enhance their business and stay current on industry trends. The CARS team works tirelessly to provide the information and tools necessary to support its members in advancing their knowledge of specific topics, industry regulatory and legislative issues. Thanks to the efforts of the CARS team, there remains widespread support for rail in Canada amongst decision makers in government. However, like other industries, there are still many in government who do not understand the complexities of the industry and the challenges CARS members face on a day-to-day basis. For this reason, CARS has adopted a clear set of positions and messages regarding key industry issues to take to government. Sylvia Newell, Executive Director for CARS, feels it's important to make every effort to establish relations with government and the folks that move within it. "CARS has a government relations committee that consists of members from both the transit and freight business. We meet on a regular basis to discuss issues that are relevant to our industry. Our association takes the lead on organizing meetings with key officials to provide our members with an opportunity to discuss and educate government on our industry. It is imperative CARS provides a unified voice for the railway and transit supply industry," Newell explained. Newell feels it is important for CARS to make government relations a top priority. "As an association, we need to be a conduit for our members and ensure government officials are aware of the importance of our industry. A commitment to advocacy will open more doors and provide more opportunities for our members. On issues relating to transportation policy, the environment, railway infrastructure, tax revisions and targeted funding, we need to be included in these and other relevant conversations." For associations like CARS that want to excel at government relations, it is important to have tools in place to help members advocate on the issues that matter most. "I encourage members to learn more about our government relations efforts. CARS has an internal government relations committee that helps guides our efforts. The committee meets with relevant government officials during our annual lobby day and through ongoing conversations throughout the year," Newell said. 24 insidetrack | SPRING/SUMMER 2016 Government can have a profound impact on the way business is conducted and the railway and transit supply industry is no different. "We need to ensure we are prepared for this ever-changing landscape and equipped to meaningfully affect government decisions. This is accomplished by raising our profile with decision makers, as a thought leader, as a source of counsel on policy and through the media. CARS is continually looking for opportunities to align our goals with that of the government." For the remainder of 2016 and the foreseeable future, government relations will remain a top priority for CARS. "It is critical the supply industry's voice is heard when major issues arise that could potentially affect our members. Often, our suppliers may be able to provide the solution that the government is looking for. The true value at stake from government and regulatory invention is massive. Associations like ours that approach advocacy engagement in a disciplined manner are sure to reap success," Newell concluded. Chair of CARS Government Relations Committee, John Millson, like Newell, is proud of the association's government relations efforts. "CARS Government Relations Committee has been extremely involved in the evolution of Light Rail Transit systems in Canada. Since the first passenger train's inaugural trip, freight and passenger service have shared many of the same tracks which can cause delays and inefficiencies. Our members are constantly working to improve these systems. Advanced signaling makes rail faster and safer, while removing the cross-border barriers to long-distance and multi-modal business. Integrated communications and supervision enable the reactivity required for on-demand 27 ❱

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Insidetrack - Spring/Summer 2016

President’s Message | Mot du president
The Times, They Are a Changin’
National Railway Day
Review of Canada Transportation Act: Impacts on the Rail Industry
Advocating for a Sustainable Future
Infrastructure, Public Transit, and Via Rail: What the 2016 Federal Budget Means for Railway Suppliers
Trade Credit Insurance for the Rail Industry: Grow Sales and Increase Profitability
The Mixed Blessings of a Low Canadian Dollar
Aim Higher
New Members | Nouveaux membres
CapEx: An Industry-Wide Look at Who’s Spending What | Dépenses en immobilisations : Tour d’horizon des immobilisations de l’industrie
Railway Supplier Buyers’ Guide | Guide d’acheteurs des fournisseurs de chemins de fer
Index to Advertisers I Index des annonceurs

Insidetrack - Spring/Summer 2016