Canadian relief for Moore tornado victims denied at border
A Canadian shipment of relief goods bound for storm-ravaged Oklahoma has been stopped at the Canada-U.S. border in Windsor, Ont.
American officials will not allow the 20,000 kilograms of food, blankets and diapers into the country until every item on board is itemized in alphabetical order and has the country of origin of every product noted.
Dennis Sauve, the volunteer co-ordinator for Windsor Lifeline Outreach and the food bank co-ordinator at the Windsor Christian Fellowship, the two organizations that gathered the goods, said it's a "physical impossibility" to do the paperwork required in time to get the perishable food to Oklahoma before it spoils.
Because U.S. President Barack Obama hasn't declared Moore, Okla., tornado a disaster area, the 52-foot trailer of goods is considered a commercial shipment rather than humanitarian aid.
Sauve's group secured skids of food donated from Heinz Canada, a refrigerated truck from ADT Transportation and fresh fruits and vegetables from a number of greenhouses in Leamington, Ont., southeast of Windsor.
The shipment was to be sent to the Gate Church or Oklahoma City, about 20 minutes away from the devastation.
Bishop Tony Miller called the hang-up "very unfortunate." He said his church has been waiting to receive the goods all week.
Sauve said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now asking for documentation of every item on the truck, including manufacturer's documentation and country of origin before it will approve the shipment as "safe for consumption."