Executive Director's Corner
Hello! I am delighted to be assuming the role of Executive Director of the Future Borders Coalition. Building on the terrific work of Gerry Bruno and founding co-chair Matt Morrison, as well as the indefatigable FBC board and task forces, I am excited for the opportunity to build out the organization across modes and regions. (You can read more about my appointment here.)
The importance of the Canada-U.S. border for travel and trade is top of mind as we emerge from the pandemic and try to figure out what the new normal looks like. By virtue of its multi-modal and binational approach, FBC is uniquely positioned to help policy makers do what it takes to build a better border. But, as I argue in this Toronto Star OpEd, time is of the essence. We cannot wait for the future to come to us.
Transportation Border Summit Update
Looking forward to seeing everyone at the FBC Transportation Border Summit in Washington, DC in mid-October 2022. We are just confirming the site now and will follow up with dates and other details shortly. **This will be an important meeting because we will be building out the coalition’s multi-year, multi-modal, bi-national work plan based on our soon-to-be-released 2022 White Paper.
Tourism Industry Association of Canada and U.S. Travel put predictability, harmonization, and workforce development at the top of the agenda.
With summer travel coming back in force, we asked TIAC’s Beth Potter and U.S. Travel’s Tori Barnes to give us their views on the new realities of cross-border travel and recovery prospects for global tourism. At the top of their lists was the need to restore public confidence and predictability, work towards a seamless passenger experience, and find ways to overcome workforce gaps in the leisure and hospitality sector. (Read the full interview here.)
News and Advocacy
We are delighted that the easing of health testing requirements is making it easier for folks crossing the border by air, land, and waterway. However, as this continues to be an evolving issue, FBC is keeping a close eye on the evolving situation in Canada and the U.S. and standing by to add FBC’s support where we can. Given the challenges experienced during COVID with the ArriveCAN app, FBC has reached out to government interlocutors with suggestions for improving the long-term effectiveness of this technology. Please let us know if there are other issues in your industry that FBC should keep on the radar.
Congratulations to our Land Border Task Force for getting some its language and priorities included in the 2022 National Travel & Tourism Strategy just released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Key recommendations included remote interviews for NEXUS renewals; advanced passenger information options; increased efforts towards cross-border interoperability; and better public education.
On the cargo front, FBC is working closely with Canada’s National Supply Chains Task Force to help produce an interim report to the Minister of Transport in July. They are seeking short- and medium-term recommendations from FBC members. You can make submissions directly through: https://letstalktransportation.ca/lets-talk-supply-chain.
Finally, we look forward to seeing you at PNWER! FBC members and experts will be out in full force at the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region Annual Summit, July 24-28, in Calgary. In addition to participating in border and supply chains panels, FBC will be hosting a bilateral planning meeting with US and Cdn officials to gather input for the FBC Transportation Border Summit in October.