US District Judge Richard Cebull has delayed the planned opening of the border to Canadian beef. The industry has lost over $7B in the 22 months that the border had been closed. Prime Minister Paul Martin pledged to the people that he would get the border opened, and the issue was a major part of the meeting between Martin and President Bush last year.
Belinda Stronach has already jumped on the issue, pointing out that the issue highlites the failure of Mr. Dithers to improve relations with America:
"When the prime minister should have been nurturing support throughout the American political system to keep the border open, he and his cabinet were skulking away from a proper discussion of missile defence with the U.S. government,' she said in a release.American administration officials insist that this is a temporary measure which will be resolved shortly. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns reiterated that the border will open shortly.
"The border closure on BSE is a perfect example of the kind of real-world situation where Canadian interests would be looking for maximum help from the administration."
Andy Mitchell, Canada's Minister of Agriculture, pointed out that this is the action of one American judge, not the American government. Still, the fact of the matter is that Canadian beef will still not be crossing the border come Monday, and another chance to at least give the appearance of improving relations has gone by the wayside.