Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers have voted in favour of a strike Click image to enlargeThe officers manning Canada’s borders have given their union a mandate to strike, putting Canada’s post-lockdown economic recovery in jeopardy and raising concerns among many industry watchers and analysts about the impact on manufacturing.

Dennis Darby, president of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, is one of the voices warning that Canada can’t withstand yet another trade dispute, especially one coming during this crucial period of recovery.

"In the midst of our economic recovery efforts, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers announced they have voted in favour of a strike starting August 6th. Canadian manufacturers cannot take another hit at the border and our economy cannot afford another trade disruption, especially now,” says Darby.

He says any disruption will have significant impacts on our economic recovery and on the flow of essential goods into Canada. CME is calling on all parties to return to the negotiation table and find a solution as quickly as possible.

"For the manufacturing industry, for international trade, and for the entire Canadian economy, it is imperative that we avoid a strike at the border,” he says.

Darby cites the damage caused to the economy by strikes at the Port of Montreal as an example of the impact of a strike impacting all the entry points of our country. Crossing the border—already a complicated exercise due to COVID-19 travel restrictions—will only get more problematic with labour disruptions, hampering manufacturers' ability to get the essential components and goods and threaten thousands of Canadian businesses.

"As Canada's economy continues to struggle with the aftermath of the pandemic, this strike action at the CBSA will further impact an already fragile manufacturing supply chain across the country," says Darby.

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