Feds Funding Three Border Infrastructure Projects

This is for all economics geeks and those hopping on the #BuyCanadian bandwagon due to the ‘T’ words: U.S. President Donald Trump’s America, tariffs, trade dispute.

Ottawa is investing in transportation technologies to improve efficiency at the Buffalo, N.Y. and Fort Erie, N.Y. border crossings.

“The transportation and distribution of goods are a vital part of our local, regional and national economies,” said Burlington MP and Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould, adding it will address urgent capacity constraints at the Peace Bridge.

The $2.4 million announcement was made by Gould in Fort Erie in Tuesday (June 26).

It covers three projects to improve border infrastructure that will help Canadian businesses compete by moving goods to market more efficiently.

The first project consists of the complete redesign and replacement of existing toll system software, hardware, and signage for six toll collection lanes, plus a border data analytics system for traffic entering Canada to improve toll system efficiency.

The second project involves the design, supply and installation of radio-frequency identification readers and corresponding electrical and IT infrastructure at auto primary inspection lanes and commercial lanes. The radio-frequency identification readers will be installed at the front of the inspection line, allowing travelers to scan their identification documents in advance of reaching the inspection booth for processing. This new technology helps reduce vehicle inspection wait times.

The third project includes the design, supply and installation of cameras and IT infrastructure to improve the accuracy of border wait time information and improve the flow of border traffic.

All three initiatives are expected to have “significant” economic and employment benefits by creating an estimated 50 jobs during construction.

Once completed, these projects will address capacity constraints that will benefit Canada’s third busiest land crossing.

“Our government is investing in Canada’s economy by making improvements to our trade and transportation corridors,” said Minister of Transport Marc Garneau.

“We are supporting projects that will efficiently move commercial goods to market and people to their destinations, stimulate economic growth, create quality middle-class jobs, and ensure that Canada’s transportation networks remain competitive and efficient.”

Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey says he’s pleased it’s moving ahead.

“The Peace Bridge is a strategic economic gateway and ensuring that we address transportation bottlenecks and develop strategies to minimize congestion is vital to foster long-term prosperity in our community,” said Badawey.


THREE QUICK THINGS

Over the last five years, an average of 3274 trucks per day (or nearly 1.2 million per year) crossed the Peace Bridge, carrying millions of dollars’ worth of Canadian trade that support jobs across the country.

Transportation is an important element of Canada’s trade with other countries. In 2017, total international merchandise trade amounted to $1.1 trillion.

The United States continued to be Canada’s top trade partner, with $703 billion in trade ($415 billion exported, $288 billion imported), accounting for 63.5 per cent of total Canadian trade in 2017.

The Canadian government places a strong emphasis on exports because of the connection between trade and good, well-paying jobs, as industries that are export-intensive pay wages that are, on average, more than 50 per cent higher than industries that are not.

(Source: Transport Canada)

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