Studying How the Border is Impacting  COVID-19 Job Loss | Mar 18, 2021

The Special Committee on the Economic Relationship between Canada and the US resumed its Hearings on Line 5 yesterday. I am honoured to be one of the 4 Conservative Members on this 12-panel All-Party Committee.

We learned, Tuesday, that the current conversation on Line 5 is one-way. As a witness described it ”Michigan talks, Canada listens”. I find it interesting and alarming that there is not a more bilateral approach given that the two economies rely heavily on one another.

In my line of questioning, I spoke of the importance of the border to the automotive sector – parts go back and forth across the Canada-US border 7 times before they are assembled into a vehicle.

My question to the witnesses: What impact do you see regarding jobs and job losses?

On the short-term we were told the impact would be – loss of capacity, resulting in increased cost and supply shortages, loss of jobs then followed by a slow bleed.

We were also told that a shut-down of Line 5 would result in 540,000 barrels of oil being transported by rail cars and an additional 15,000 trucks crossing the border per day.
One more truck on the busiest border crossing in North is not only going to affect production, manufacturing, and the supply chain but it is also going to affect our nurses, doctors and business folk trying to cross the border for essential services and commerce. Clearly this is going to add enormously to the congestion at Canada’s busiest international border crossing.

I asked the witnesses to comment on the impact on the border. Watch to the end to hear Aaron Henry’s troubling response. (Henry is the Senior Director, Natural Resources & Sustainable Growth, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.)

Chris Lewis MP - Essex

Constituency Office

Ottawa Office