Nov 01, 2021

How the Minister of Transport can strengthen our trade and transportation networks

After over a year-and-a-half of lockdowns and sacrifice, Canadians are seeing the benefits of their efforts to stop COVID-19. The pandemic is not over, but we can now look beyond COVID to plan for our future. Now, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is writing “mandate letters” to members of the Cabinet with policy priorities that will support growth of the Canadian economy.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has suffered from bottlenecks and disruptions to supply chains that have threatened the smooth flow of goods across the country. Blockades, labour action, and other factors have demonstrated the fragility of Canada’s trade and transportation networks.

The Minister of Transport should:

  • Lift restrictions limiting international flights to just nine Canadian airports and work in coordination with Canada Border Services Agency and Public Health Agency of Canada to ensure that all airports that serve as Airports of Entry have the resources necessary to support the resumption of international air travel.  
  • Work with the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship and Minister of Health to implement an interoperable digital health credential. This should be interoperable across provincial boundaries and support international mobility.
  • Bring coherence to Canada’s border policies as it relates to rules for minors not eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines and the advisory on all non-essential travel.
  • Ensure adequate financial support for those in the supply chain that rely heavily on user pay models so that service providers are not burdened by debt levels that increase the cost of travel for consumers.
  • Commit to consistent funding of the National Trade Corridors Fund to help businesses fulfill their economic and competitive potential.
  • Increase funding towards the construction of VIA Rail Canada’s High Frequency Rail project.

To see all 21 of our mandate letters to ministers, click here.

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