For Immediate Release
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
VANCOUVER, B.C. — — The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade is launching a live Port Shutdown Calculator estimation tool to illustrate the significant impact of the labour disruption on Canada’s west coast ports. As of 10:30 a.m. on July 12, the Board of Trade estimates that $8.9 billion in trade has been disrupted.
"We are pleased with Minister O’Regan’s announcement, as he has acknowledged that the strike is causing significant economic damage and that it cannot continue,” said Bridgitte Anderson, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. “Every hour our ports remain closed fuels inflation and raises prices for consumers and businesses.”
"While we hold some hope a deal can be reached, the reality is that if either party opts out, we will have added $1.6 billion to the trade disrupted and be back in the same place,” Anderson continued. “We are calling on the federal government and opposition parties to be ready to pass back-to-work legislation if mediation is unsuccessful.”
The ongoing disruption in port operations is already impacting various industries nationwide, including manufacturing, retail, agriculture, critical minerals, automotive dealers, and energy. Domestically, with goods unable to move efficiently through west coast ports, businesses could experience delays in receiving essential raw materials, components, and finished products. These impacts would extend beyond jobs directly tied to B.C. ports and affect thousands of workers in transportation and logistics roles, as well as those working in supporting industries. The governments of Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan have acknowledged the significant impact on their economies and called for the reopening of the ports.
As Canada’s largest gateway, approximately 25 percent of our total traded goods flow through the ports in Western Canada. Supply chain instability in recent years has been a major hurdle for Canadian businesses, which was only just beginning to improve prior to the start of this labour disruption. The ongoing disruptions not only jeopardize Canada’s international reputation as a reliable trade partner but also threaten long-lasting damage for years to come.
“Through the Port Shutdown Calculator, we want to demonstrate the profound and escalating impact of this labour dispute,” noted Anderson. “With $800 million worth of cargo being disrupted, including thousands of containers waiting to be unloaded and facilities across Canada facing cut shifts or shutdowns, every second counts. The livelihoods of Canadians and the health of Canadian businesses depend on the reopening of our ports.”
You can find the Port Shutdown Calculator tool here.
About the Port Shutdown Calculator tool:
- Estimates the value of goods disrupted or delayed from import/export due to the port shutdown
- Estimates the value of trade per day at $800M and divides that by 24 hours
- It does not estimate the economic impact of the disruption on the Canadian economy
- The economic impact could be more significant than the values projected in our calculator. As the strike continues, the economic impact will grow substantially due to plant shutdowns, a lack of inventory affecting sales or production, and myriad other impacts on the British Columbian and Canadian economy.
About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:
Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Western Canada's leading business association, engaging our members to inform public policy at all levels of government and empowering them to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one-third of B.C.'s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through unique programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events platforms in the country, providing a stage for national and international thought leaders to enlighten B.C.'s business leaders.