Back Shortly

After almost 5 years of silence, I will be back shortly!


All comments are based on fact that can be verified, as usual!

Happy to find you again!

Jean "Coffee Monster" Catudal


Meanwhile in a Civil Servant Office of Quebec…

We have been polled on new increases of rates, we got some and we will be charged more in the future. The most hypocritical increase was the one of our driver’s permit. Not only the ones with the motorcycle class, I am talking about every driver’s permit.

Like many of us, I got my paiement notice in the mail, I then passed to the internet portal to get my dues paid, almost with my eyes closed. This is a ritual I do every two years and if I look at my little laminated card with my face on it, I had to do it this year. The amount was almost the same as last time since I had caught a speeding ticket with my car at the last renewal. What a surprise when I found out about a change on the bill! Our dear and costly SAAQ had changed the time frame. My permit was valid for one year instead of two! An increase of almost 100%! Is the SAAQ now a highway robber?

Some pressure groups such as “All Against the SAAQ” are making a lot of noise on the outrageous increases for the registrations and permits for motorcycles but, who is putting the pressure on the management of the SAAQ about the other increases? Is this government waiting a rebellion of the population?

Personally, this government has my number and hitting my nail from many directions. Revenue, SAAQ, RAMQ, only to name these.

Taxes, income taxes, hidden taxes, PST on basic services, on public services and service fees, this government has mastered the art of doing it. And us, what are we doing? PAY, PAY, PAY without a word…

I am fed up of working almost half on the year to feed that tax machine and this is without looking at surprise fees that comes along afterwards.

I hope that one day we will get really tired of dying like dummies…


Tolls on Our Roads? Good Idea!

Mostly that the current political party of opposition did raise it in the early 80’s on the Autoroutes we had at the time and due to unpopularity of the measure, they backed off so much that they removed them totally from the scenery of the highways 10-13-15-40. It wasn’t democratic to double the rate of the toll to help finance the maintenance of the highways. It was not mostly to the people of the greater Montreal area and the Eastern Townships to pay more for roads in Ungava.

What would be the price of the new tolls? If in the early 80’s the “wisemen” of the MTQ had estimated to 0.50$ the price to update the system, if we consider the cost of living increase, inflation, the rise in the price of asphalt products, the higher labour costs, the renewal of the work contracts for the civil servants, the price charged in Europe, they like to compare themselves to them, I think the wisemen of the MTQ are going to establish the rate at about 3.00$ for each 10Km travelled.

Again, it may be a PPP with a foreign partner that will manage this and install plate recognition systems so you will get another monthly bill by the mail. There are chips like the EZ-Pass but again, they may not be compatible to the rest of the systems here, distinct society, and it would make it easier on carriers. They may be compatible to the ones used on the Autobahn or on the Southern France Expressways.

My good friend Jacques Plante tells it to who wants to listen those simple vanity plates could help to refill the accounts of our government. If like our immediate western neighbours, Ontario, if these plates could be available event for small commercial vehicles, here in Quebec, the ones with an “F” plate, I would be asking some for my 3 pilot cars with the following message C-LARGE-1,2,3. But since our 3rd eastern neighbour, France, has not given any thoughts on it, we may not see this here soon.

Jacques, it’s a very good idea. You should ask the Minister for a grant to study the project but she is already doing every thing possible to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads. If 12M$ of our tax dollars can go to study the possibility of subway extensions, you may only receive a Thank you note…


Back on Air!

I’m getting ready for a come back with my old patner Jacques Plante. If I talk about it, we had made the path for French Trucking Radio on satellite in 2006. To start we will be modest with format that will evolve as the listeners grow. We have the flexibility to adapt quickly. I still dream of a daily program listener driven with your comments and opinions on topics you care about.

Like in the past, I will comment on the latest news in our industry, follow issues I have followed for the pas months and share with you the highs and lows of trucking. If I have writen less recently, I still am aware of what is going on in Quebec, Canada and the USA.

Email me you topics and I will comment on them to you and share you concerns with others. There is still some equipments to get us started and some more will get on board as we go to make it a lively show with interaction from you.

To use the famous last 3 words of the National anthem at a NASCAR race: Start your engines!


Breaking News on Speed Limiters

How come Scott Mooney was one of the first Owner Operator to get a Speed Limiter compliance fine?
To know more follow Clik Here to watch the CTV News report

Right on Red, Dangerous

The original title of Sebastien Menard’s article in the Journal de Montreal of July 3rd and on Canoe is “Virage à droite dangereux”. The picture is taken from the article and a link to it is at the bottom of the page. For those of you than can’t read French, the caption of the picture says that the lady saw the car closely while the driver was making a right on red. Look at the picture again. The lady wants to cross the street on the red light too!

This came out as a report was issued showing a rise of the accidents involving pedestrians in Quebec at intersections where right on red is permitted. The law that allows the manoeuvre is clear stating that the pedestrian has the right of way when in the cross-walk on the green light. I presume it is the one crossing the path of the driver. The only exception I can understand, with the little common sense my government leaves me, is when there is a pedestrian light to allow priority crossing in the same way I am going. The culture of “Yield to Pedestrians” is not yet part of our driving habits here in Quebec. Are we more stupid then the rest of North America because we were the last ones to adopt the right on red? I hope to believe that Montreal’s administration do not think of their citizens as the dumber of the continent or it was to cut in the cost of posting signs at the thousands of intersections that they banned the right on red on all the island. Surely it was cheaper to put those signs only on the access roads.

Some members of my family are living in Halifax. One day my brother-in-law was telling that a Halifax pedestrian would only live a few minutes in the Montreal traffic. When a pedestrian sets foot in a cross walk, the automobile must yield right of way. Our government has set penalties for the faulty drivers. Can we have proper enforcement of the laws before doing any modifications to them again?

The easy answer from the authorities is that the man-power is not available enough only to do that. Anyway, not too many drivers are going to break the law when a police cruiser is in sight. However, in Montreal, when it comes to cell phone use without a hands free gadget, they are the provincial record holder of citations and there are enough cops available for that.

Mrs, Minister, if you are really so worried on the situation, why not send one of your staffers to contact a staffer of the Minister of Public Safety and make another round table on applying the laws to the drivers.

The link to Sebastien Menard’s article on Canoe



July 1st, Canada Day

And to mark the event, since Midnight, the United Socialist State of Quebec and the future Socialist State of Ontario are in “Hard Enforcement” mode on speed limiter law for your trucks.

I thought that Canada, even if in Quebec we try to make us believe we are a Nation, individual freedoms are part of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If I think correctly, we are free to do what we want and operate a small business until we have a stick put in our spokes. We are free to do it within the laws and if there is no law yet, there is surely a pressure group to have one written.

Yes I am frustrated today. Not because we have celebrated the 142nd Anniversary of our country but against the Provincial governments that are closing the vice on the population to restrict the wealth, the well being and common sense.

With another obligation to put up with in trucking, one that is ridiculous, it’s the small business trucker’s wallet that is being emptied again. This limits the possibilities for the owner-operator to make a better income by putting more time to do west coast loads and also provoke less income tax, less road and fuel taxes. In order to compensate, there is now new fines for the outlaw truckers.

The well being is also affected. The small business trucker will have to put more time to make the same income or a better one. This will leave less time for the families. Coming back home is still a priority for most drivers.

Finally, common sense. This is the ultimate weapon for the citizen and it must be banned from our arsenal. A little sarcastic but, with the current rates in trucking, the rising costs of replacing or maintaining the equipments, the roller-coaster fuel prices, I don’t know any small business owner that is going to run over the speed limits or the flow of traffic just for the pleasure of it and increase the cost of operations.

The activation of the speed limiter is a business decision of a trucking company. This choice must stay this way and not be a government mandate. If you still have some courage left to stand for your rights and freedoms, contest these ridiculous laws.