Letter to the Prime Minister: Business associations on labour action at the Port of Montreal

April 15, 2021

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Cc: Premiers of Canada
Hon. Erin O’Toole, P.C., M.P.
Yves-François Blanchet, M.P.
Jagmeet Singh, M.P.
Annamie Paul

Dear Prime Minister:

As industry associations representing Canadian businesses that provide millions of jobs in almost every economic sector, we remain gravely concerned about the announcement of labour action at the Port of Montreal.

The Port of Montreal is a crucial link in the success of all sectors of the economy given its position within supply routes in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and Ontario. However, the uncertainty surrounding ongoing labour negotiations between the Maritime Employers’ Association (MEA) and CUPE Local 375 has forced many businesses to alter their trade routes away from the Port of Montreal. A recent survey by Electro-Federation Canada revealed that over 70% of respondents have diverted their cargo to other ports in Canada. This creates congestion at points of entry that are already suffering severe bottlenecks.

At a time when supply chains are already at their most fragile due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these conditions are extremely unfavourable to any attempts at economic recovery.

This kind of uncertainty threatens Canada’s international reputation as a trading partner and continues to create significant uncertainty for businesses who rely on the Port as a major supply route. We continue to call on the federal government to use all tools at its disposal to bring an end to the disruption and ensure that the public interest is the paramount concern.

Should you require any further information concerning the damaging impact of the partial strike and our request for government intervention, we would be pleased to assist in any way.


Hon. Perrin Beatty, P.C., O.C.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Chamber of Commerce

John Corey
Freight Management Association

Luke Chapman
Interim President
Beer Canada

Sandy MacLeod
President & CEO
Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada

Shannon Coombs
Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association

Kim Campbell
Importers and Exporters Canada

Dan Kelly
President and Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Lisa Kowalchuk
Executive Director
Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce

Ralph Suppa
President and General Manager
Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating

Pierre Gratton
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mining Association of Canada

Bruce Rodgers
Executive Director
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association

David Wojcik
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mississauga Board of Trade

Jim Keon
Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association

Greg Cherewyk
Pulse Canada

Dennis Darby
President and Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters

Cathy Campbell
Responsible Distribution Canada

Ron Lemaire
Canadian Produce Marketing Association

Diane J. Brisebois
President and Chief Executive Officer
Retail Council of Canada

Brian Kingston
President and Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association

Christian Buhagiar
President and Chief Executive Officer
Supply Chain Canada

Carol McGlogan
President and Chief Executive Officer
Electro-Federation Canada

Michael Graydon
Chief Executive Officer
Food, Health, and Consumer Products Canada

Derek Nighbor
President and Chief Executive Officer
Forest Products Association of Canada