Ontario, Quebec want feds to intervene in port strike
The governments of Ontario and Quebec are appealing to the federal government to end the strike at the Port of Montreal.
Workers there have been on strike since Aug. 10, paralyzing activities.
Quebec’s Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Lanaudiere region, Pierre Fitzgibbon, and the Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region, Jean Boulet, suggest the conflict will have negative repercussions on the economies of Quebec, Ontario and Eastern Canada. Economic activity at the port totals $2.6 billion a year, with more than $100 billion in goods passing through the port annually.
More than 2,500 trucks per day serve the port.
“Quebec is at a crucial stage in the economic recovery and we will need all our economic tools to meet the challenges that await us,” said Boulet. “This strike has significant impacts for the Port of Montreal, but also, and above all, on importers, exporters, businesses and ultimately on citizens of all of Quebec. In addition, this situation comes on top of an economic crisis linked to the Covid-19 pandemic which is already having negative effects on many companies needing to import and export via port facilities. I remind you that the Port of Montreal is a strategic element and a pillar of the economic vitality of Quebec and is at the heart of the smooth running of thousands of Quebec businesses. ”
“The Port of Montreal’s activities represent 19,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs,” he added. “So I am extremely concerned about the current situation, especially if it continues. Due to the difficult economic climate that is hitting the Quebec workforce hard, it is essential to maintain negotiations and dialogue to limit the impact on the economy and the population. “
Around 40,000 containers are currently being picked up from the docks or are on ships that have been diverted to other ports. This equates to more than a week of container handling at the Port of Montreal.
A letter, written to federal Labour Minister Filomena Tassi and Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Navdeep Bains, can be read here.