Coutts blockade costs southern Alberta $3 million a day: Economic Development Lethbridge

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For the majority of the six-plus-day convoy, vehicular access was either completely halted to and from the border or significantly slowed.

Lewington says manufacturing plants in the region will be forced to reduce or cancel production as their supplies run out and they are unable to get their goods to international markets. This is a problem that farmers and food producers also face, as agricultural exports are one of the region’s main economic drivers.

In 2020, he reports that the census metropolitan area of ​​Lethbridge exported nearly $1.8 billion worth of goods, about 80% of which went to the United States. The vast majority of these exports passed through the Coutts/Sweetgrass border crossing.

“This means for the city of Lethbridge alone, approximately $3 million per day in economic benefits based on the road and rail traffic that must pass through this entry point. The impact is, of course, four or five times greater than that if you consider the movement of other Alberta goods in and out through that same north-south corridor.

Lewington adds that the transportation, warehousing and logistics sector in Lethbridge creates about $310 million in GDP each year, employing nearly 3,000 people.

“These are people who depend on the free flow of their equipment, goods and services in and through this corridor. Many of these businesses incur significant additional costs as shipments of perishables are spoiled, drivers are diverted miles away to British Columbia, which is the next major trade entry point, and border documents and details customs officers must be written.

He hopes the situation on the Coutts border can be resolved as soon as possible so that there is no risk of this having a longer term impact on the local economy.

Lethbridge Economic Development has reportedly heard from investors who are delaying trips to the area until the protest situation subsides.

“It’s a difficult time for all of us, and I would ask that we all come together to focus on what matters, and that’s jobs, getting people back to work and keeping the flow of goods moving.”

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