Today there is news that the US Government may re-open the border – however, only on their side. That means that anyone heading north into Canada would still be required to quarantine for 14 days. There has been a significant lack of focus by the Canadian government on re-opening the border in consultation with the business community.
“Surrey is a border city and that is why this topic is of utmost importance,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “Even though some may say that the Federal Government has established a committee on Canada-US relations with one of the focuses being on re-opening the border, it is important to ensure that there is a regional perspective and voice at the national table, especially from private sector organizations. National level sector councils or representative organizations often overlook many important interconnections that play a critical role in cross-border economic relations. Key economic connections in our region that can have significant implications to the national economy may not be fully understood in Ottawa. The best way to ensure these connections are known and considered in decision making is to have regional representation at the table.”
“How do we protect the interests of business, if business is not at the table?”
This weekend – May 28 and 29, the Surrey Board of Trade is bringing forward two vital economic policies for support by the BC Chamber of Commerce delegates.
“We hope that the BC Chamber delegates demonstrate their leadership by supporting the recommendations of these two important policies.”
The Surrey Board of Trade wants the Federal Government, in coordination with Provinces and Territories, to include consultations from relevant stakeholders, such as Boards of Trades/Chambers of Commerce and the provincial governments, in the Canada-US Relations Committee mandate.
The Surrey Board of Trade recommends that the Federal Government:
A. Work with the air travel industry, Provinces and Territories to create a consistent domestic travel plan by developing criteria that signals the time for safe travel within the country, including metrics on how many people have been vaccinated in regions throughout the country;
B. Implement national arrival and departure testing protocols by building upon Calgary’s pilot program and learning from international examples;
C. Incentivize airlines to better service rural and remote communities;
D. Provide substantial funds for airlines and airports, akin to the system in place in the United States; and,
E. Implement a globally-consistent vaccine passport strategy.