Mayors from six border communities say the federal government must work with municipalities to improve American confidence in the Canada-U.S. border.
The mayors met with three federal cabinet ministers and five members of Parliament Monday to discuss the slowdown in cross-border flows, especially since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, reports the National Post.
Sarnia, Ont., Mayor Mike Bradley called the situation ‘a crisis of confidence, and a binational issue’.
Bradley also urged Ottawa to get a message through to the U.S. government that it must do its part to increase the flow of goods and people across the border, and stressed that for the Americans, their primary concern continues to be security over trade.
Industry Minister Brian Tobin said however that he was seeing some improvement in the last few weeks, in that there is now a refocusing on economic security south of the border.
The mayors were said to be satisfied with the results of the meeting and assurances from the Chretien government that it is working with the United States to fix the problem within a matter of days and weeks.
Revenue Minister Martin Cauchon meets again next week with his U.S. counterpart, Commerce Secretary Paul O’Neill to talk about improving cross-border flows.
The hope is to develop a joint plan to make it easier to get goods across the border.
A majority of goods exported from Canada – 87 per cent – go to the United States while one quarter of all good produced south of the border flow into Canada.
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