Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Ontario Chamber of Commerce

August 30, 2007 10:00 ET

Easing the Chokepoints-Ontario Chamber Releases Plan for Effective Border

SARNIA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 30, 2007) - Urgent action is needed to reduce restrictions to trade and travel between the largest trading partners in the world - Canada and the US. This according to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce in the release of the third in a series of reports about the challenges facing the Canada-US border.

Easing the Chokepoints, A Plan for an Efficient Canada-US Border, describes cross border traffic which is fraught with delays, regulatory entanglements and aging infrastructure with no long term plan in sight. The report contains a comprehensive set of recommendations, informed by surveys, interviews, research and expert opinion.

"Our border crossings - the lifelines of our economy - have instead become the chokepoints - currently suffering from the worst backlogs since 9/11," explains Len Crispino, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "While the rest of the world is progressing towards fewer trade and travel barriers, Canada and the US appear to be creating more and more roadblocks. Last week's Montebello Summit was a small beginning but we - all stakeholders on both sides of the border - must proceed with urgency to protect our economic security."

Easing the Chokepoints, A Plan for an Efficient Canada-US Border, builds on two previous reports by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce which quantified the drain on the Canadian and US economies caused by border delays at $13.6 Billion (CDN) annually. Ontario has been absorbing a staggering $5.25 Billion each year.

"We feel the intense drain on our local economy here in Sarnia Lambton as tourists, manufacturers and Michigan day-trippers re-evaluate their travel plans," says Garry McDonald, President, Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce. "We are most concerned that present delays will lead to future habits and business decisions that do not include our community."

Blue Water Bridge, Canada's second busiest commercial truck crossing and fourth busiest overall, dwarfs the crowd attending today's announcement. President & CEO Chuck Chrapko describes the giant problems facing their customers, "Just in time shipments to the US have become JUST OUT OF TIME due to frequent backups of commercial and passenger vehicles at the Blue Water Bridge. Governments in Canada and the US need a short term plan and long term solution to deal with this debilitating problem obstructing our two nations' economies."

Easing the Chokepoints, A Plan for an Efficient Canada-US Border, will be used by chambers of commerce and boards of trade throughout Ontario as they seek real, concrete solutions to the critical issues facing the Canada-US border.

The report is available online at www.occ.on.ca or at chambers of commerce and boards of trade throughout the province including Windsor, St. Catharines, Fort Erie, Sault Ste. Marie, Fort Frances, Cornwall, Kingston, Gananoque, Brockville and Prescott.

The OCC represents over 57,000 businesses through 160 local Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade, and has been Ontario's business advocate since 1911. Its advocacy and policy initiatives focus on six areas key to the economic well-being of the province: health; education; energy; finance & taxation; transportation & infrastructure; and border issues.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Chamber of Commerce
    Amy Terrill
    W: (416) 482-5222, ext. 241 or C: (416) 605-8205
    amyterrill@occ.on.ca