A union official for
Canadian customs workers wants five massive clearance centers built at the
border to process trucks. The union, which represents 3,500 Canada Customs
officers, is upset that exporters can't get their goods into the United States
fast enough due to the increased border scrutiny since Sept. 11.
The Custom Excise Union's
plan reportedly calls for both Canadian and U.S. customs officials handling
multiple trucks at clearance areas near the border points in Windsor, Ontario;
St. Stephen, New Brunswick; Lacolle, Quebec; Coutts, Alberta; and Pacific
Highway, British Columbia. The clearance areas would be divided in two, with
Canadian officers inspecting American trucks on one side and American officers
inspecting Canadian trucks on the other.
The union believes clearance
centers would alleviate time-consuming lineups, free officers at the border
to concentrate on security screening of travelers, and ensure Canada's export
revenues to the United States do not drop off, according to published reports.
The union is seeking a meeting with Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John
Manley on the issue.