Truckers brace for border waits after U.S. budget cuts
Posted: Mar 1, 2013 4:09 PM CST
Last Updated: Mar 1, 2013 8:17 PM CST
Manitoba truckers are worried about the impact that massive budget cuts in the United States could have on border crossings.
That could mean longer wait times for truckers coming into or leaving Manitoba at the second-most active border-crossing in Canada. Windsor, Ont. has the busiest border crossing in the country.
"It's a 50-50 shot. One day you can drive right in, and when you go back out it can be piled up," said John McDonald, a trucker who tried to cross the border at Emerson on Friday.
He's one of 300,000 commercial vehicles that could be affected by the cuts. Travellers could also face bigger lineups.
"During their busiest times, the word they used to describe it is 'gridlock,'" said Terry Shaw of the Manitoba Trucking Association.
He said 80 per cent of what Canada sells goes to the U.S. by truck, making the trucking industry worth about $1 billion a year in Manitoba.
"Trucking is a key service provider to manufacturing, construction, retail and wholesale trade, agricultural industry," said Shaw.
But truckers will have at least a month before they have to start worrying about possible delays.
The delays are expected to begin in early April, once the effects of the budget cuts have taken place in many departments.
Air travel not affected
Officials from the Winnipeg Airports Authority said those travelling to the U.S. by air won't be affected by the budget cuts.
The Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport sees about 80 flights to and from the U.S. each week.
Airport officials said travellers won’t have to worry about delays, as there are no plans to make cuts to border services within airports.
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