Akwesasne won't support opening of new low-level bridge

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Protesters cross the south span of the Seaway International Bridge into Canada during a demonstration last year.

CORNWALL, Ontario - The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne won't support the opening of a new low-level bridge in Cornwall because the federal government has not yet resolved what it feels are outstanding issues concerning traffic flow.

The MCA issued a release Thursday that outlines the concerns and suggests Mohawks will not be taking part in opening ceremonies.

It should be noted that the Federal Bridge Corporation suggested this week there won't be any official opening for the bridge until this summer - if at all.

"We’ve expressed our community’s concerns in writing and in meetings," said the MCA. "Additional meetings are planned in the coming weeks to discuss these matters further. At this time, the issues are unresolved."

These issues include, but are not limited to:

- Failure by the Canada Border Services Agency to accommodate the MCA’s need for an alternative reporting mechanism on Cornwall Island. Talks have resumed with federal officials but no agreement has been reached.

- Failure by the bridge corporation, the Seaway International Bridge Corporation and CBSA to address the back-up of traffic that will continue to occur because there are just two lanes at the new toll booth plaza.

- Failure by all three parties to address emergency-related concerns on the bridge, such as ambulance accommodation and the need to develop a joint emergency response plan with Akwesasne.

Organizations: Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Canada Border Services Agency, Federal Bridge Corporation Seaway International Bridge

Geographic location: Cornwall Island, Ontario

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Recent comments

  • stellabystarlight
    January 24, 2014 - 16:37

    Yes by all means "Pete" bury your head in the sand and ignore the injustice being done to First Nations people

  • Jeremiah
    January 24, 2014 - 08:20

    All that is desired is to simply provide meaningful dialogue and cooperation in addressing the concerns of the ~70% that use the bridge on a daily basis? As in 'Duty to Consult' found in the Constitution Act of Canada. Apartheid survives with the support of many.

    • stellabystarlight
      January 24, 2014 - 16:47

      Jeremiah Well said Our Prime Minister traveled to South Africa to pay respects to Nelson Mandela once considered a "terrorist" by the Whites Years later everybody respects this brave brave man that fought against an EVIL system

  • steve lslonde
    January 23, 2014 - 21:25

    are you kidding me? I really don't think that they even know what they want 95 percent of this is caused by them in the beginning. just another reason to suck our government of more millions of dollarsthat we all pay for. I strongly agree with Pete we should have built a bridge from Cornwall directly to United States and bypass Cornwall Island all together.

    • stellabystarlight
      January 24, 2014 - 16:43

      Dear Steve The next time..for any reason..you are stopped/your vehicle is under threat of being taken away/and or a $1,000 fine report back in about how you feel mistreated Anybody can get caught in this stupid payback policy of reporting back to CBSA the second you return from USA This is a Human Rights Problem not an- Us against Them issue

    • Are-tee
      January 27, 2014 - 19:17

      Not a single penny of yours (taxes or otherwise) goes to first nation, they have their own , but the government is withholding it, in the tune of 3 trillion. Do a little research...

    • Jeremiah
      January 29, 2014 - 23:41

      you have to go back a little further in time Steve. The 'problem' is not caused by Akwesasne, it was caused by the Conservative government when Harper promised to 'arm all border crossings'. For three years leading up to the relocation Akwesasne wanted to discuss and come to an agreement on how to implement this but was denied proper 'Duty to Consult'. This happened 3 YEARS before the headlines and drama of the officers fleeing the CBSA facility.

  • Pete
    January 23, 2014 - 20:33

    We may have been better off to build a bridge clear across the Island and we wouldn't have to be worrying about their "approval" or any future blockades, etc.