FORT ERIE, Ont. — Ontario has a plan to hand out water to truck drivers and have portable toilets along major highways if a war in Iraq should result in tightened security at the border.
Runciman told reporters at this border crossing that given war is a “likelihood” by the end of the week, the province has made contingency plans to take what limited steps it can to keep truck traffic moving or at worst make the truckers comfortable if traffic backs up.
“The Ontario government has made security a top priority with a special emphasis on keeping the critically important Canada-U.S. border crossing as open and free flowing as possible,” says Runciman, as trucks lined up along the Peace Bridge behind him.
Runciman says even the briefest of shutdowns at the border could “shatter the just-in-time delivery system” so crucial to the automotive industry. He says every minute of delay at the border holds up $3.8 million worth of goods; that works out to $1.3 billion worth of goods sitting idle in a day.
The minister conceded there is only so much the province can do other than urge truckers to have their paperwork in order when they reach border crossings to avoid further delay.
To that end, Ontario Security Commissioner Dr. James Young said there will be special locations near Sarnia, Windsor, London and elsewhere where truck drivers can pull off and make sure their paperwork is complete before they continue their journey. He added that between 30 to 35 per cent of truckers now arrive at the border without their paperwork filled out, causing lengthy delays.
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