OTTAWA, ON. – The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale, says the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has made improvements to facilitate the movement of commercial vehicles its top priority.
In response to a letter from a Canadian Trucking Alliance led coalition outlining concerns with the lack of resources being dedicated to border staffing and IT systems the Minister said the CBSA will be looking to make improvements in these areas.
The letter signed by the 15-member trade industry coalition urged the government to take immediate action by increasing CBSA funding.
Goodale’s response outlined measures already taken to improve these issues, including recruitment efforts, increased monitoring of border wait times, and improvements to IT systems and outages, but he acknowledged there are still issues that need work.
The Minister cited “a number of older” IT systems that have negatively impacted the supply chain, however the government has made major investments in upgrades to infrastructure. He said the CBSA will continue to explore opportunities for more improvements through the Commercial Transformation Agenda, including decreasing border wait times and developing consistent clearance requirements.
Canadian Trucking Alliance director of policy and industry awareness programs, Lak Shoan, agreed the CBSA has worked to address staffing and IT issues, but showed concern over outdated technology.
“The CBSA will need to focus on upgrading technology to meet the needs of the supply chain, and the demands of growing sectors such as e-commerce. These improvements will require additional resources,” said Shoan.
Canadian Trucking Alliance staff continue to work with the CBSA to address concerns related to systems outages and penalties.