TORONTO, Ont. — Keeping trucks flowing efficiently and securely across the Ontario-US border is an economic imperative for Ontario, says OTA president David Bradley.
Bradley’s remarks were made to a joint industry-government forum established by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Ministry of Enterprise, Innovation and Opportunity. Joining Bradley as speakers at the session (held yesterday) were Dr. James Young, Ontario’s commissioner of public safety and security, and Bruce McQuaig, assistant deputy minister, policy, at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
Bradley said that in addition to investing in border approach and highway infrastructure and continuing to work with the Americans to develop bilateral border management systems, "it is essential that an ‘Ontario advantage’ is created to ensure our industries, including trucking, are as competitive as they can be, and to recover losses in productivity and efficiency occurring at the border."
He pointed to the need for further tax reductions, common sense regulation and transportation productivity enhancements as the keys to creating this advantage. He challenged the audience to not settle for a level playing field, saying "our economy needs a competitive advantage and what’s wrong with that."
He also warned against a creeping complacency amongst Canadian politicians and some businesses with regards to border and transportation issues. "Recently, border delays have been what we have come to call ‘normal,’ but then that is a refection of an overall economic slowdown which has contributed to a large reduction in private automobile traffic across the border. It’s important to remember that things were not good at the borders prior to 9/11 and when the economy kicks back in which appears to be underway we could be right back into long delays again."
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