New CalChamber Blog Shares Insights on Canada Border Tour

California Chamber of Commerce Vice President of International Affairs Susanne Stirling joined private and public sector leaders from around the United States, and Canadian officials on a tour of the Canadian border for three days last week.

Stirling was invited by the Canadian Consulate in San Francisco to participate in the tour and visited Vancouver and Prince Rupert, both in British Columbia, from September 19–21.

The California delegation is pictured with their delegation leader, Consul General Lee, on the ferry to Prince Rupert. (From left to right): Ezrah Chaaban, Chief of Staff, Office of California Senator Bill Dodd; The Honorable Brandon Lee, Consul General of Canada in Seattle; Susanne Stirling, Vice President of International Affairs, CalChamber; Annie Nam, Manager of Goods Movement & Transportation Finance, Southern California Association of Governments; and Tyler Curley, Legislative Deputy, Office of the Mayor of Long Beach.

Canada Border Tour Blog

Stirling chronicled the Canada Border Tour in a three-part blog for the CalChamber. In it, she outlines details regarding border security, supply chain logistics and free trade, and how she gained a deeper understanding of the different ports of entry into Canada (vehicle border checkpoints, seaports, rail stations, airports). This tour was first established after 9/11, and has grown in size and scope.

To read the full blog, visit Below is a sampling of Stirling’s blog entries:

Day 1

“Our group headed north, leaving Seattle for a beautiful drive to Canada. As we neared the border there were signs posting the border crossing wait times. There was also a sign reminding us of the change to the metric system. Our first stop on the tour was the Douglas (Peace Arch) vehicle port of entry, connecting U.S. I-5 highway to Canada.

“This port of entry is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, making it one of the busiest land border crossings for traveler vehicles in Canada….”

Day 2

“Our first stop in Prince Rupert was lunch with the Prince Rupert Port Authority, which brands itself as the fastest-growing port for transpacific trade. We learned that it has the deepest harbor in North America, as well as the shortest Pacific route. During World War II,

Vancouver’s Deltaport Terminal.

Prince Rupert was home to the most northerly railhead in the Americas and thus served as a port of embarkation for the war in the Pacific. Today, the vision has slightly changed, thanks to the governing body of the Port Authority, to be a ‘leading trade corridor ‘gateway’ between North American and Asian markets.’

“The port is also ice free and the safest port in North America, as well as the third deepest port in the world. It has the flattest rail grade to Chicago of the Western ports. Next to the health care industry, the port is the largest employer in the city. The port is geared to rail transportation and not trucking, and also not for local markets, but to borders beyond….”

Day 3

“First on the agenda for our final day was a presentation at the Sutton Place Hotel by Transport Canada. We learned about the government agency’s role in developing regulations, policies, and services relating to transportation in Canada. The department has authority over the country’s road, rail, marine, and aviation, involving 50 Acts (i.e. the Marine Act, Railway Safety Act). The 2030 Transport Canada Vision involves goals and investment in the areas related to the traveler, safe transportation, green and innovative transportation, waterways, and trade corridors.”

The full blog is posted at

Staff Contact: Susanne T. Stirling

Susanne T. Stirling
Susanne T. Stirling, senior vice president, international affairs, has headed CalChamber international activities for more than four decades. She is an appointee of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the National Export Council, and serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce International Policy Committee, the California International Relations Foundation, and the Chile-California Council. Originally from Denmark, she studied at the University of Copenhagen and holds a B.A. in international relations from the University of the Pacific, where she served as a regent from 2012 to 2021. She earned an M.A. from the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. See full bio.