Pubdate: Thu, 11 Dec 2003
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2003 Southam Inc.
Author: Chris Vander Doelen


'Like Prohibition All Over'

WINDSOR - Federal plans to relax Canada's marijuana laws could prove 
disastrous for automotive parts manufacturers by creating a new mood of 
Prohibition at the border, their national association warned yesterday.

Decriminalization on one side of the border only will ensure Canadian 
shipments must be put under even more scrutiny by U.S. Customs officials, 
says Gerry Fedchun, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' 

"It will be like the Prohibition all over again," Mr. Fedchun told a press 
conference in Windsor, one of two the APMA held yesterday to present a 
pre-Christmas industry wish list to federal and provincial governments.

"If they don't have it on the other side there is going to be a tremendous 
amount of inspection by the other side. Can you imagine what the lineups 
are going to be like? At this point, marijuana possesion should not be 

Mr. Fedchun said the potential for further business disruptions due to 
secuity concerns was raised by the APMA's Windsor board members, "who 
experience firsthand the problems crossing the border on a daily basis."

In a nutshell, the Windsor parts manufacturers have been warned by customs 
experts that looser Canadian marijuana laws will necessitate more 
inspections of their goods. The manufacturers say inspections equal delay, 
and that more delay will mean more lost sales and lost jobs.

The APMA's members have already suffered a $2-billion loss in business 
volume between 2000 and 2002, said Douglas Boughner, chairman of the 
group's board. Any further erosion of their combined $34-billion in annual 
sales will lead to loss of taxes and weakened government revenues, he wanred.

The APMA calculates automotive workers pay more than $2-billion a year in 
income taxes.
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart