June 17, 2008 (39th Parliament, 2nd Session)

LIB

Roy Cullen (Interjection)

Liberal

Hon. Roy Cullen

Mr. Speaker, I would encourage the parliamentary secretary to try to accelerate the review of this cost recovery policy, because it is creating a lot of anomalies and situations where there is unfair competition.
I can recall that courier companies were set up at various airports, for which there have to be customs services either 24/7 or very early in the morning. As the shipments come in, they have to be processed through customs.
There was an anomaly. A new courier company would come in and its services would be on a cost recovery basis, while the other courier services would be part of grandfathered core services. This creates some competitive issues.
Issues also arose at the Detroit-Windsor border, where there were opportunities to move more trucks on a ferry, but because of this cost recovery policy, the customs services were going to be on a cost recovered basis. That did not help in terms of the business case of moving more trucks across the river on a ferry to take some of the congestion off the Windsor-Detroit bridge.
I think it is a matter of some urgency now. I am surprised, frankly, that solutions have not been forthcoming. It was our Liberal government that brought in the grandfathering policy. That was done in the mid-1990s out of a need to deal with a $42 billion deficit.
Is it the most sound policy given today's circumstances? No, it is not. That is why our government started that review. We were close to seeing some resolution, but then the writ was dropped and there was an election.
However, the Conservative government has had more than two years now. I plead with the parliamentary secretary to get the Canada Border Services Agency to come up with some solutions to this problem as soon as possible.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Committees of the House
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