Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is asking the government to remove all restrictions for manufacturing workers who need to cross the U.S.-Canada border.
CME says that while it supports the initial measures the government plans to take, the “pace is too slow and the details provided did not address manufacturers’ main challenges at the border”.
Canadian manufacturing companies are highly integrated and part of complex North American supply chains. Workers must cross the Canada-US border frequently in order to function at full capacity. While some essential manufacturing travel has been allowed during Covid-19, business travel has been dramatically curtailed and this has had severe impacts on Canadian industry.
“Even with exemptions, industry has continually faced inconsistent applications of the rules and quarantine exemptions not being upheld when workers arrive at the border,” said Dennis Darby, president and CEO of CME.
CME says the border announcement does not address any of these issues and it calls on the government to provide details as soon as possible.
CME urges the following be included in Canada’s plan:
- That current critical infrastructure essential worker travel exemptions for quarantine and not having to stay at hotels, regardless of vaccination status, be upheld;
- That the list of essential worker occupations and reasons for travel be extended to include all types of business travel;
- That the multiple testing requirements for fully vaccinated essential workers be dropped.
CME is asking the federal government to include these essential components to ensure that manufacturing, and all essential workers, do not lose crucial border crossing exemptions in any future reopening plan.