CIFFA Letter to Premier of Ontario on Essential Services and Importer Closures

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April 6, 2020.

Att. Doug Ford, Premier, Province of Ontario

Dear Premier Ford,

Thank you very much for your response and listing of essential businesses during these very difficult and unprecedented times. We can appreciate the difficult, but necessary decisions that are being made for the ultimate welfare of the Province. As we stated in our initial letter to you on March 25, we require clear and concise language regarding what business can and cannot do, especially relating to non-essential businesses.

Your response indicates that at-risk workplaces were ordered to close, and that the decisions relating to non-essential businesses was a tough-one. Those two references have very different meanings, which adds to the conflicts and confusions that we are expressing.

We trust from your business experiences, that you have a very good understanding of how the supply chain functions overall.

In order to ensure fluidity at our ports, ensuring that there are no bottlenecks or excessive costs in the movement of goods either by air, water road or rail, we require an announcement that all warehouses and distribution centres must continue to receive and store goods that have been ordered.

To this end, we believe that item number 22 in your Listing of essential workplaces could be slightly modified as follows:

“Businesses that provide and support import commodities, including by providing warehousing, storage and distribution of goods.”

Importers will not be able to pay the exuberant costs of storage if they elect to close their businesses.

We have not seen any form of relief from the government on this and it appears to be area that is ill understood.

We wish to thank you for your consideration of our request and for your level of direct involvement and engagement.


Bruce Rodgers
Executive Director, CIFFA

Julia Kuzeljevich
Public Affairs Manager, CIFFA

Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA)

The Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA) represents some 260 regular member firms from the largest of global multi-national freight forwarding firms to small and medium sized Canadian companies. CIFFA member companies employ tens of thousands of highly skilled international trade and transportation specialists. As a vital component of Canada’s global supply chain, CIFFA member companies orchestrate the movement of goods around the world. International freight forwarders are the foremost experts in cargo transportation solutions and an essential partner in advancing the Canadian economy and the economic prosperity of Canadians.

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