(OTTAWA) The heads of Canada’s major banks urged the federal government to end convoys of trucks blocking the Ambassador Bridge and other border crossings. Emergency Measures Act. They feared a devastating impact on the Canadian economy and Canada’s reputation.
An emergency meeting was arranged between him and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland on 13 February. The aim was to discuss solutions to end the “Freedom Corridor” and, above all, the barriers to trade corridors.
A report of the discussion was tabled Thursday in the Commission on Emergency Situations and provides an overview of the mood of bank chiefs. Their names and the names of their companies have been redacted.
One of them had just returned from a stay in America, where an investor told him: “I will never invest a penny in your banana republic of Canada again. »
“If the investor you’re talking to is American, tell him we’re not like America where people directly invaded their legislature,” Minister Freeland responded, referring to the Capitol invasion on January 6, 2021.
Anxiety was at its peak. The Canadian economy has not recovered from the pandemic. The government is bracing for a trade war with the U.S. and fears closing the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, will further stoke protectionism south of the border. President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan was already threatening the Canadian auto industry.
He testified on Thursday that the Canadian government had prepared a list of retaliatory measures that would have cost the country $100 billion in imports if the plan had gone ahead.
“We are not saving NAFTA for destruction,” he wrote to Flavio Volpe, president of the Auto Parts Manufacturers Association, on the morning of February 14. Also wearing the deputy prime minister’s hat, he said he was “committed to taking strong measures”. Minister Freeland led the 2019 renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Mexico.
More details to come.
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