Citing an “interconnected, complex, and, at times strained relationship” between Canada and the United States, the Surrey Board of Trade is calling for a Canada-U.S. Relations committee to be established.
In a news release issued Monday, the board suggested that a joint committee could, among other responsibilities, “investigate what the (Canadian) government is doing with the U.S. to procure a steady stream of COVID-19 vaccines” while also reporting on issues surrounding the reopening of the Canada-U.S. border.
The border has been closed to non-essential travel since last spring, as a result of the pandemic.
The board of trade release noted that such a committee is necessary considering the number of executive orders to come from U.S. president Joe Biden’s government recently.
“The last four years have shown how quickly communication can break down, and the economic toll such a breakdown can have,” the release reads. “While there was hope that the next four to eight years will be amicable, the recent flurry of executive orders has shown that Canada-U.S. relations will likely remain strained as Canadian interests are jeopardized.
“The federal and provincial governments must create a Canada-U.S. Relations Committee to protect B.C. and Canadian interests from plans made by the United States.”
Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, said in the release that “integration of the the North American economy” is of the utmost importance, while also noting that re-opening the border is “not just about flipping a switch.”
“A structured plan is needed in partnership with the private sector. This is important to Surrey because we are a border city,” she said.