Borderlands: CanadaInternationalNewsTrucking

Canada’s largest province, Ontario, declares state of emergency to blunt pandemic

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says supply chain must keep moving as the province bans large public gatherings and closes restaurants – but leaves key openings that should help freight demand amid coronavirus pandemic.

The premier of Canada’s largest province, Ontario, declared a state of emergency this morning, banning public gatherings and closing restaurants among a spate of measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new measures, however, preserve key openings that will soften the blow for the transportation and logistics sector. 

“It’s absolutely critical that we keep the supply chain moving,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said during a news conference in Toronto. He spoke less than a day after the federal government announced extraordinary measures to tighten Canada’s borders.

It is crucial that transportation and logistics companies with exposure to the foodservice industry, grocery and convenience stores remain open, and restaurants and bars can still operate takeout and delivery service. The city of Toronto meanwhile began allowing retailers to take deliveries 24 hours a day to facilitate restocking.

Trucks in Canada have been moving more loads of freight since March 1, according to the Outbound Tender Volume Index on FreightWaves’ SONAR platform.

Trucks have continued to handle increasing numbers of loads in the Toronto area, as well as Canada as a whole, as the coronavirus pandemic has worsened. The Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI.CAN) on FreightWaves’ SONAR platform is tracking near a November 2019 high in the aftermath of the November strike by Canadian National rail workers.  

Border lockdown leaves openings for cross-border freight

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday “aggressive” steps to lock down the country’s borders to curb the spread of coronavirus but left crucial openings that will allow freight to move from the United States.

“We will continue to ensure that Canada receives important goods,” Trudeau said during a news conference outside his home in Ottawa. Trudeau is in self-imposed isolation with his wife, Sophie Grégoire, who is recovering from COVID-19.

The most significant step is banning the entry of most people who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Exemptions include U.S. citizens as well as travel for business and trade purposes – which means American truck drivers can continue to bring freight into Canada.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau also made clear that Canadian truck drivers who make regular cross-border deliveries are not expected to restrict their travel or self-isolate if they show no coronavirus symptoms. Canadians returning from another country currently are being told to self-isolate for 14 days upon return.

Canadian Trucking Alliance President Steve Laskowski welcomed the provisions to ensure that trucks will continue to move between Canada and the United States.

“We applaud Minister Garneau and the government for recognizing that even in these extraordinary times, the border with the U.S. and Canada needs to stay open for commerce,” Laskowski told FreightWaves.

Laskowski stressed that truck drivers showing symptoms for the coronavirus or having tested positive for COVID-19 need to be isolated. But he said a 14-day isolation period for drivers merely for crossing the border “would have been a disaster.”

Officials also announced the arrival of international flights will be limited to the country’s four largest airports: Toronto Pearson, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary. The four airports handle the highest number of passengers and volumes of freight in Canada.

Canada had 424 confirmed cases of coronavirus and four deaths as of Tuesday.


  1. Quote :

    “Canada’s largest province, Ontario”

    ??? LOL !

    Reality check !

    Quote :

    “The Largest And Smallest Canadian Provinces/Territories By Area

    Quebec is the largest province in the country, occupying 15.4% of the country’s total area. Its land area is 523,603.95 square miles while its water area is 71,787.2 square miles and its total area is 595,442.88 square miles.

    The second-largest province is Ontario accounting for 10.8% of the nation’s total area. The province’s land and water areas are 354,341.78 square miles and 61,256.65 square miles respectively while the total area is 415,598.43 square miles.”

  2. Not only is Ontario our largest province, it’s our bestest province. Anything that comes from Ontario is perfect. No one does anything better than someone from Toronto. The Maple Leafs may not have won a Stanley Cup in 50 years, but they still think they’re the best team in the NHL. With hockey shut down, the rest of Canada agrees that the Leafs should just be given the Stanley Cup.

    Ontario! Better than anywhere else.

    1. Quote :

      “No one does anything better than someone from Toronto.”

      Would you like to know why Toronto is so successful ?

      Due to the brains of big money migrating from Montreal to Toronto due to the nationalist movement in Quebec that occurred in 1976 .

      Quote :

      “Toronto as business centre
      Toronto replaced Montreal as the nation’s premier business centre because the nationalist movement in Quebec, particularly with the success of the Parti Québécois in 1976, systematically drove Anglophone business away.

      In 1976, the separatist-minded Parti Québécois beat the Quebec Liberal party in the province’s election. The next day, “the Brinks trucks [armoured vehicles for transporting cash] were rolling down the highway” and out of the French-speaking province, said Joe Martin, director of the Canadian business history programme at Toronto university’s Rotman School of Management.

      Most of the money that fled the province made its way to Toronto, capital of Ontario, which by the early 1980s had replaced Quebec’s Montreal as Canada’s most populous city. Which is why First Canadian Place is today the de facto headquarters for Bank of Montreal, even though the lender is registered in its namesake city.

      More of Canada’s largest financial institutions shifted their bases to Toronto and now inhabit the towers that rise over Bay Street, the heart of the sector.

      By 1980, only one of Canada’s largest eight financial institutions by assets – National Bank – was still headquartered and managed from Montreal, according to Mr Martin. That had fallen from five out of eight, including Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada and Sun Life Financial. ”

      AGAIN ,

      Quote :

      “Toronto had been the junior partner in Canadian business to Montreal historically. This changed as Toronto grew rapidly after World War II. Another factor was the growing nationalist movement in Quebec, particularly with the success of the Parti Québécois in 1976, systematically alienated Anglophone businesses. By 1995, Toronto controlled 48% of Canada’s financial assets and 44% of the non-financial corporate assets, compared to 28% and 22% by Montreal.

      During this period, three of Canada’s largest banks became headquartered in Toronto: the Royal Bank of Canada, the Toronto-Dominion Bank and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. These along with the Manulife Financial Corporation, Sun Life Financial Inc. and Toronto Stock Exchange form the financial district, the financial heart of Canada. Toronto also became the corporate capital of Canada with the majority of Canadian companies having their head offices there.”

      You can thank the French Quebecers for your success , LOL !

      Quote Montreal Exchange :

      The first exchange in Canada began in 1832 as an informal stock exchange at the Exchange Coffee House in Montreal. In 1874, Lorn MacDougall, along with his brothers Hartland St. Clair MacDougall and George Campbell MacDougall, James Burnett and Frank Bond were the driving force behind the creation of the Montreal Stock Exchange (a name that was used until 1982 when it became the Montreal Exchange). The shareholders voted Lorn MacDougall its first Chairman of the Governing Committee, a position he held until poor health forced him to retire in 1883.

      By 1910, the number of trades amounted to about $2.1 million whereas the Toronto Stock Exchange only amounted to $900,000. The prosperity of the Montreal Stock Exchange led to the creation of major corporations like Dominion Textile and Montreal Light, Heat & Power.
      At that time, many major financial institutions established their headquarters on and around Saint Jacques Street.

      For the separatist group Front de libération du Québec, the Montreal Stock Exchange represented a bastion of Anglo-Canadian power. On February 13, 1969 they set off a bomb at the Stock Exchange that blew out the northeast wall and injured 27 people.

      In addition to security concerns, language became a major issue in the 1970s. In 1977, the provincial government of Quebec passed the Charter of the French Language, which decreed that the language of work in Quebec would be the French language. With the majority of Canadian domestic and international business being carried out in the English language, this law effectively drove some major companies to trade stock at the Toronto Stock Exchange, where business could be done in English. “

      1. What are you on I was camped out at queens park after having a very bad experience with our homeless shelters and medical treatment. Last weekend the Ontario government was leaving homeless to (their own arrangements). The shelters had people sleeping on chairs or the floor as all bunk beds and cots was full. The cots have less than a foot between them. The bunk beds are 18 inches apart. The Ford government was unable to find beds for people coming out of the hospital despite these people needing medical treatment. The homeless people are the greatest risk of C 19 spreading both in Toronto and New York City. The Ford government refused to listen to concerns by social groups and myself or stand up to insurance companies delay claims. The Ford cuts to health care homeless shelters have already cost people health and many more lives. 7168604681

Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at