Following the announcement by the Federal government that it had invoked the Emergencies Act, Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, issued a statement about the impact of the ongoing border blockades on Canada’s supply chain.
“The border blockades across the country are affecting the safe movement of livestock, feed and goods and is adversely impacting Canada’s food supply chain. The disruptions have caused a threat to our economy and public safety and they are hurting farmers, small businesses and our communities across the country.”
Bibeau said she sat down with meat industry representatives from across the country to discuss the impact of the blockades on the agri-food sector.
“When I met with industry leaders, they told me that the blockade is having a significant impact on the livelihood of Canadian farm families and businesses who cannot sustain any more delays.
“I also heard that shipments of animals are being delayed and cancelled, which is creating serious risks to animal welfare. We must ensure that animals, feed and ingredients can flow smoothly across the border. This is essential to support producers and protect the welfare of animals traveling between Canada and the US
“Border delays also heighten the risk of spoilage of perishable goods. Canadians should have confidence that our food supply is able to respond to demands and that our distribution system will continue to operate to meet the needs of Canadians. We need these blockades to end to avoid food loss and waste, as well as added costs for everyone in the supply chain including Canadian consumers.”
She added that the government recognized that the vast majority of truckers “are on the job right now and have been doing the essential work of keeping our supply chains moving,” and added that the Emergencies Act was invoked because “the unlawful occupation of major border crossings must end,” while recognizing that the government respects the rights of all Canadians to protest. “Our hardworking truckers are essential to the function of our agricultural and food supply chains and to the efficiency of our economy.”
The government isn’t alone in protesting the border blockades. In recent days, industry groups, including the Canadian Produce Marketing Association as also called for an end the blockade, the Retail Council of Canada and the Food, Health and Consumer Products of Canada, have issued statements voicing concerns about the ongoing blockade the impact on the food supply chain.