Blockades threatening auto sector (photo courtesy of Honda)Click image to enlarge

A group of leading business trade associations representing key sectors of the Canadian supply chain, including the Canadian Tooling & Machining Association and the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, have banded together to demand “an immediate end” to trucker border blockades threatening the nation’s trade.

 The group issued the following statement:

“The Canadian business community is urging all levels of government to work together in bringing an immediate end to the current blockades and disruptions at our country’s border crossings and key trade corridors.”

Hundreds of millions of dollars in cross-border trade, which includes critical supplies and perishable items, are being impacted or lost because of ongoing blockades.

“Canada’s economy is being threatened as thousands of trucks and millions of dollars in cross-border trade that typically go through these entry points every day is being disrupted. Our borders are essential trade arteries that feed businesses and Canadians with essential goods, food, medicine, and critical industrial components that fuel our economy and support our critical infrastructure,” the group said.

Ongoing interruptions at Canadian border crossings and on key trade corridors threaten to greatly exacerbate supply chain disruptions.

“We live in a democratic society where people are allowed to protest. But when you have blockades with transportation supply lines cut off, in my mind that’s holding people for ransom, “ said Robert Cattle, head of the CTMA. You should not be able to block an entrance to an international border and stop the flow of commerce. This is a huge slippery slope. That’s why I signed this letter.”

 Protesters supporting the trucker standoff in Ottawa blocked the Ambassador Bridge – the busiest trade route between Canada and the U.S. with about 10,000 trucks crossing it per day --  completely Monday night, opening it only to U.S.-bound traffic on Tuesday. And it’s the only border point being targeted. A standoff at the Coutts, Alta., crossing is now into its second week.

Robert Wildeboer, executive chairman of auto parts supplier Martinrea International Inc., told BNN Bloomberg that if there is a shutdown of transportation routes, the auto industry would come to a screeching halt in about two days.

Martinrea is based in Vaughan, Ont., but has locations in the U.S. and around the world. Wildeboar told BNN Bloomberg that the company has 38 trucks crossing the Detroit border per day and 16 crossing the border at Sarnia.

The industry group called on all levels of government to work together to develop tailored solutions for each unique border crossing in Canada to prevent future disruptions.

“Canada’s trade and transportation infrastructure, which is crucial to the lives of Canadians and their livelihoods, must be protected.”

The associations banding together to demand an immediate end to the border blockades include:

Alberta Motor Transport Association

Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association

Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association

British Columbia Trucking Association

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Canadian Tooling & Machining Association

Canadian Trucking Alliance

Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association

Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada

Global Automakers of Canada

Manitoba Trucking Association

Medtech Canada

Ontario Trucking Association

Quebec Trucking Association

Saskatchewan Trucking Association

Tire and Rubber Association

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