Canadian Trucking Alliance

Canadian Trucking Alliance

August 09, 2011 15:44 ET

Canadian Trucking Alliance Hosts Discussion on Border Issues, Cargo Crime with Minister of Public Safety

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 9, 2011) - The Canadian Trucking Alliance hosted a discussion with Canada's Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews, carriers and drivers at its Toronto head office today. On the agenda, naturally were Canada-US border and trade issues as well as the growing problem of cargo crime. About a dozen carriers and drivers attended the meeting in person, while another 25 or so were able to participate in the meeting electronically via web conference technology. The meeting provided the minister with a first-hand account from the people most impacted by the current situation at the border and by cargo crime. It also provided him with the opportunity to inform the industry of action his government has already taken or is contemplating.

It is hoped that the meeting will contribute not only to a better mutual understanding of each other's concerns and actions but that it will feed directly into both the Regulatory Cooperation Council and the Beyond the Border Working Group -- two consultative bodies formed after Prime Minister Harper's and President Obama's announcement of negotiations aimed at reaching an agreement on a joint perimeter security strategy.

David Bradley, CTA's president and CEO said "We are delighted the minister took the time to come and visit with the industry directly. There's nothing like hearing for himself about the issues the people that live and breathe the border daily are encountering." Among the issues raised during the discussion included such topics as in-transit movements, re-positioning of foreign empty trailers, true mutual recognition of the trusted trader programs PIP and C-TPAT, due process and appeals for trusted traders, flexibility in the application of FAST lane policies, integration between CBSA and other departments, infrastructure investments and the utilization of existing technologies to expedite legitimate traffic flows.

On cargo crime, the industry is calling for increased enforcement resources to be allocated to the problem and for the courts to begin handing out stiffer penalties for cargo crimes as provided under the government's new "tough on crime" legislation. CTA noted that organized crime syndicates are playing an increasing role in cargo crimes. "While the trucking industry has made substantial investments in security programs and policies, organized criminals are not deterred," says Bradley. "In the absence of a greater enforcement effort and penalties, the return from cargo crime is seen as far outweighing the risk by many criminals."

"We hope to raise awareness of the scope and seriousness of cargo crime, of its true costs to my industry, to the supply chain and to the Canadian economy as a whole to provide you and us with the legal framework, the tools and the resources to take this increasingly lucrative and violent crime on and to apprehend and convict, with appropriate sentences, the organized crime syndicates and other criminals that perpetrate these crimes."

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