Perimeter essential

Dear sir:
A report commissioned by the federal government underscores the Ontario government’s call for dependable security and the free-flow of goods between the Canada-U.S. border. This is vital to the future of trade between our two countries.
The study, “The Canada-U.S. Border: An Automotive Case Study,” focuses on the impact on the automotive industry. And its conclusions reinforce the Ontario government’s position that it is necessary to take steps that will result in effective, long-term solutions to the issue which was heightened by the tragic events for Sept. 11.
While the study confirms interim measures have helped to improve the flow of goods significantly, long-term solutions are required.
This is why our government acted quickly to host the Ontario Industry Leaders Roundtable on Border Issues last fall. At that time, Premier Mike Harris called for a North American security perimeter so border trade could continue to flow smoothly and securely.
This was strongly endorsed by Ontario business leaders.
Canada-U.S. trade is crucial to our economic prosperity. The only way it will continue to be prosperous for both sides is to maintain the free flow of goods, services, and people across the border. A North American security perimeter is essential to those plans.
Last week, our government held a very successful counter-terrorism summit, where the first steps were taken toward forcing effective, on-going partnerships to fight terrorism and improve public safety.
In co-operation with the federal government, automotive industry leaders, and union leaders, our government also will host a roundtable in the spring to strengthen the competitive future of the automotive industry.
Once again, the success of the automotive industry and Canada’s economy are linked to secure, timely, and efficient border access.
We continue to encourage federal officials to develop our own security perimeter plan that will benefit Canadians—and ensure our prosperity.
Robert Runciman
Minister, Economic
Development and Trade