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Terror attack could force border shutdown, documents show


The United States would virtually close the Canada-U.S. border if a terrorist attack were launched anywhere near it, according to documents obtained under access-to-information legislation, the Toronto Star reported yesterday.

“One additional terrorist attack, that had its origins in Canada or occurred at, or along, the Canada-U.S. border, would likely cause Congress to lift the drawbridge,” warn the documents from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

The confidential government documents also sound the alarm over newly implemented U.S. anti-terrorism legislation, warning it could wreak havoc on Ontario manufacturers, The Toronto Star reported.

The legislation, which took effect Dec. 12, requires trucking firms, air cargo companies and railway shippers to submit electronic data about their deliveries of food and beverage products before they can enter the United States. Enforcement of the rules will begin in the spring.

Miranda Hawkins, a ministry spokeswoman, said the first phase of enforcement of the new law will begin March 12.

The internal government documents say Ontario and its neighbouring American states must influence their respective federal governments in talks over border security.

“If we cannot, and if protracted border delays become the norm, then losses to business on both sides of the border will become very significant,” the documents warn.