The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s board of directors unanimously voted at its fall meeting to affiliate with the Owner-Operator’s Business Association of Canada. Both associations represent the interests of owner-operator truck drivers, but OOIDA is the much larger of the two groups. OOIDA has more than 144,000 members in North America, including 3,000 in Canada, while the Owner-Operator’s Business Association of Canada has about 500 members.
Each association will keep its autonomy in name and membership, officials said. But the partnership will bring about a common voice on trucking issues such as border crossing, government affairs, regulations and judicial processes. “We are anxious to move forward with this affiliation as it will be a great benefit to our Canadian members,” says Jim Johnston, OOIDA president and chief executive officer. “An OOIDA-OBAC partnership will enable us to have an increased presence with the Canadian government, which will benefit both our U.S. members that travel to Canada and our Canadian members as well.”
OBAC Executive Director Joanne Ritchie says she welcomes support from OOIDA in working for the interests not only of her membership, but of all the 35,000 to 45,000 owner-operators in Canada. For OBAC members, “We’ll be looking at the excellent array of OOIDA’s programs and services to determine what might be modified or adapted for the Canadian market, or used as templates to build our own,” Ritchie says. “Insurance and fuel programs will be important, as these represent critical, big-ticket items for owner-ops.”
Founded in 2002, OBAC recently stood with OOIDA to file comments against mandatory speed governors in Canada and has been an outspoken advocate on a number of issues facing owner-operators.