FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to recall Parliament in order to legislate an end to the strike that has resulted in the closure of Canada’s west coast ports to container traffic. As we saw in 2021, there is precedent in doing so when the federal government introduced legislation to end the strike at the Port of Montreal on its second day of action and passed it on the fifth day.
The labour strike at the west coast ports will have a very significant impact on both the economy as well as the availability and price of consumer goods. The two principal west coast ports handled more than 37 million tonnes of containerized cargo in 2022, as compared to the Port of Montreal which handled 14.4 million tonnes.
Retail supply chain professionals are working diligently to find alternative transportation options and sources of supply to ensure that goods reach Canadian stores. However, if the work stoppage continues, there will be impacts on the supply of goods and on consumer prices.
RCC is appreciative that the federal government obtained an exemption for shipments of grain and for cruise ship passengers: retailers value the sales that cruise ship traffic brings. However, while this government has previously expressed concern about the impacts of inflation on consumer prices, it has not yet demonstrated the same level of care for the interests of Canadians whose spending is directly impactful to our economy 365 days a year.
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Director, Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs