TORONTO – February 10, 2022
Retail Council of Canada is working in concert with other associations to urge the Canadian federal and provincial governments to immediately take any and all action to find a solution to the disruptions at the Ambassador and Bluewater Bridges as well as the U.S. border crossings in Coutts, Alberta and Emerson, Manitoba, as we are gravely concerned that they will threaten the continued supply of food and goods to Canadians.
Roughly 25% of all food and consumer products, as well as packaging and ingredients, are shipped by trucks across the Ambassador Bridge alone, and the current demonstrations could inevitably lead to plant shutdowns, potential layoffs, reduced on-shelf availability and increased pricing for many products like fruits and vegetables. We are also hearing of immediate impacts from furniture/homegoods retailers as well as apparel retailers who rely on shipments from their US distribution centres or vendors.
Canada’s critical trade and transportation infrastructure is vital to the lives and livelihood of all Canadians, and governments must find a way around these conflicts going forward. Every day these disruptions and blockades continue puts pressure on retailers’ ability to ensure availability of products in stores. We hope that a solution can be negotiated, but failing that, these crossings are so central to economic activity in Canada, as well as to the needs of Canadian families, that compulsion may be required by law enforcement. At the end of the day, there is an ironic twist in that current protests across the country are portrayed as being about choice, and yet they are actually likely to reduce choices for Canadian consumers and drive costs up for families.
About Retail Council of Canada
Retail is Canada’s largest private-sector employer with over 2 million Canadians working in our industry. The sector annually generates over $78 billion in wages and employee benefits. Core retail sales were over $400B in 2020. Our members represent more than two-thirds of core retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit industry-funded association that represents more than 45,000 small, medium and large retail businesses in all formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers, and online merchants in every community across the country. www.retailcouncil.org
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