The cumulative impact of new and proposed security measures at our border threatens to shatter the just-in-time delivery system relied upon by businesses and industry on both sides of the border, particularly the essential auto industry, Premier Ernie Eves says.
Eves made his comments during a meeting with Ontario trucking industry officials this week.
"When trucks sit idle at the border, assembly lines come to a standstill, companies fail to fill orders and lose business. Shippers face higher costs for labour, gas and overhead," he added.
Ontario Trucking Association President David Bradley met with Eves at Kriska Transportation to discuss the impact of tighter border security at the U.S. border in the event of a war in the Middle East.
"Should there be further conflict in the Middle East, we will immediately see heightened security at the border, increased security checks and increased delays in moving people and goods," Eves said. "Up to one million jobs in Ontario depend upon trade. Members of the trucking, manufacturing and export industries have told us that we face an economic crisis at our border and that government needs to do more work with our American neighbours to address our mutual security concerns."
The meeting took place near Ontario’s border with the United States at the offices of OTA member company Kriska Transportation. Premier Eves, Bob Runciman, Minister of Public Safety and Security, Dr. James Young, Ontario Commissioner of Public Security, OTA’s David Bradley and Mark Seymour, President of Kriska Transportation exchanged information about the current state of the border.
Also attending the meeting were a number of other stakeholder groups and shippers who rely heavily on an open border to move their goods to the U.S. market.
"The strength of the Ontario economy depends upon the strength of the automotive sector," Runciman said. "If Ontario automakers can’t get their parts here quickly enough, the U.S.-based parent firms will start looking to relocate their existing Ontario plants back home and stop building new ones here. That will clearly lead to plant closings and job losses in Ontario. We need a North American security perimeter, which would create a zone of comfort for our friends in the U.S. government."
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