Peace Arch Crossing on a busy Saturday morning. The continued U.S. government shutdown will affect Canadians in a number of ways, border traffic being among those. (Drive BC file)

Government shutdown will soon slow borders, affect food quality

Canada needs to ratify NAFTA ahead of election, says UVic political scientist

Waits at airports and border crossings are the tip of the iceberg and will be made worse the longer the shutdown of the U.S. government lasts.

Will Greaves, assistant professor in political science at the University of Victoria, has a focus on international relations. He said that while the impacts on Canadians are mostly indirect so far, there’ll soon be more tangible effects.

The continued U.S. government shutdown will affect Canadians in a number of ways, border traffic being among those.

The Canada Border Service Agency already told its Canadian Nexus applicants this week they’ll have to reschedule appointments with U.S. Customs and Border Protection for after the shutdown has ended.

RELATED: Shutdown becomes longest federal closure in U.S. history

The longer the shutdown continues, the more services which affect the border will be slower, such as customs agents and even air traffic controllers, Greaves said. Those groups of workers, customs agents and border guards, are not being paid but are still required to work. Eventually, history shows they’ll start taking work action of various sorts, whether it’s individuals calling in sick, or co-ordinated work stoppages.

“Whether it’s people or goods, trying to get things across the border will take longer,” Greaves said. “We’ll likely see slowdowns at ports of entry, borders, airports, as there are fewer staff on the American sides.”

Food safety is another concern.

RELATED: U.S. federal workers get $0 pay stubs as shutdown drags on

The U.S.A. Food and Drug Administration already had a tough fall, even with its “non-essential workers” on the job, with food recalls.

“Canada imports $25 billion of agriculture from the U.S.A. a year and we already had food recalls this fall when it was running, and this will lead to fewer food inspections and less safety food protocol in place,” Greaves said.

In the bigger picture, the shutdown will start to affect the coming Canadian election by way of U.S.-Canada relations.

“The negotiation of NAFTA is not yet ratified by U.S. Congress, and in the Canadian election year, [the government] needs to normalize Canadian trade relations,” Greaves said. “The longer this takes the more contentious the politics around free trade and NAFTA.”

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

‘More animals could have a chance:’ Victoria Humane Society in desperate need of a home

Animal rescue currently has 163 animals in foster and volunteer homes

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Central Saanich accused of not following Climate Emergency declaration with urgent action

Motion to research climate response options and costs rejected then rescheduled in tense meeting

Join North Saanich invasives removal and experience three key benefits

Friends of North Saanich Parks says July 27 clear-up will be rewarding as well as green

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read