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Chamber of Marine Commerce Supports Calls for Government to Get Out of the Way of Supply Chains

Customs clearance processes are a key part of moving what matters to businesses and consumers throughout Canada, and the Federal Government is responsible for ensuring those processes are carried out efficiently and effectively. There is an ever-increasing number of examples where the Federal Government is not living up to that responsibility to the detriment of our economy and the strength of our supply chains, with the most recent example being the Canadian Border Services Agency’s incapacity to grant sufferance warehouses clearance to Desgagnés Logistik in Valleyfield, Quebec. The Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC) is joining business and community stakeholders in the region in their calls to add the necessary resources to maintain the port’s functionality, to support economic growth, and to ensure the continued prosperity of the region.

“At present, insufficient Federal staff and other necessary customs-related investments in resources to carry out the Canada Border Services Agency’s mandate is having the net effect of restricting trade and increasing costs,” noted Bruce Burrows, President and CEO of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. “Recent examples of this have been seen at the Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority, Picton Terminal and most recently Desgagnés Logistik in Valleyfield.  The CMC is joining the growing number of businesses, community leaders, and other stakeholders who are negatively impacted by this to seek positive change, and to offer our expertise in facilitating solutions.”

It should be noted that various orders of government invested millions to upgrade the facility in Valleyfield, but the lack of CBSA collaboration now threatens to reduce any benefits that could be derived from the enhancements. The CMC has written to the Federal Government specifically on the issue involving the Desgagnés Logistik facility in Valleyfield, Quebec, as it is clear that granting the sufferance warehouse licence is essential for that facility, and for many other facilities still awaiting review by the CBSA. In taking positive action in this regard, the Federal Government would contribute to growing the Canadian economy, foster resilience in the supply chain, and expand crucial industrial zones that create long-term economic strength while benefiting from the lowest carbon footprint of all transport modes – the marine mode.

Key Facts

In July of 2023, an independent study by Martin Associates was released, confirmed the tremendous importance of marine shipping on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway and coastal and arctic regions. The study revealed the industry made an annual contribution of $66.1 Billion in economic activity, supported almost 360,000 jobs, and provided $30.3 Billion in wages and $12.8 Billion in taxes. The study was released with the endorsement of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation and the Minister of Transport Canada.

Earlier this year, the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) and U.S. Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (GLS) jointly announced that nearly 38 million tonnes of cargo transited the binational seaway infrastructure system in 2023, representing an overall year over year increase of more than 3.4 percent.

Recent analysis by Research and Traffic Group also shows that due to that fuel efficiency, if rail and truck were to carry the same cargo over the same distance as CMC’s fleet, there would be 31 per cent more GHG emissions from rail and 558 per cent more from trucking.

About the Chamber of Marine Commerce

The Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC) is a bi-national association that represents diverse marine industry stakeholders including major Canadian and American shippers, ports, terminals and marine service providers, as well as Canadian domestic and international ship owners. The Chamber advocates for safe, sustainable, harmonized and competitive policy and regulation that recognizes the marine transportation system's significant advantages in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, Coastal and Arctic regions.

Media Contact:
Jason Card
Chamber of Marine Commerce
(613) 447 5401