CORNWALL, Ontario – The Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) and the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA) have been working together to ease the burden on MCA residents on Cornwall Island, who have to pass through the Cornwall Port of Entry on a regular basis.
Akwesasne straddles Ontario, Quebec, and United States. The CBSA Port of Entry to Canada from the U.S. is on the Cornwall side of the St. Lawrence River, and not on Cornwall Island. This has been burdensome for MCA residents living on the Canadian side of Cornwall Island, as they have to pass through and be screened at a Port of Entry despite never leaving the country.
On Saturday, Oct. 19, CBSA agents at the Cornwall Port of Entry will now be asking a new question to ease the burden and speed up the screening process for those travelling from the Canadian side of Akwesasne.
CBSA agents will begin asking “Are you arriving from the United States” to cars pulling up at the Port of Entry.
” The purpose of the question is to recognize the mixed traffic corridor and that not all people or vehicles arriving to
the port have left Canada,” reads a statement from the MCA. “MCA and CBSA have been working collaboratively to improve the border crossing experience through the MCA-CBSA Border Collaboration Initiative (BCI). Open dialogue and design-thinking approaches are utilized to create a better understanding of each other’s goals and to work together toward positive improvements.”
The MCA provided the following guidance on appropriate responses to the question, based on different travel situations.
Travel from Kawehno:ke only:
Those travellers who are arriving to the port from Kawehno:ke (Cornwall Island) only, without having left Canada, will answer “No” to the primary question, which signifies to the Border Services Officer (BSO) that you have only travelled domestically and not internationally.
Travel from or through the U.S.:
If you are arriving to the port from beyond Kawehno:ke (Cornwall Island), and have travelled from or through the United States, your response to the primary question will be “Yes” and the BSO will continue the required processing. This includes anyone who has transited through the United States from the Akwesasne districts of Tsi Snaihne (Snye) and Kana:takon (St. Regis).
Travel from Canada to Kawehno:ke:
If you have arrived to Kawehno:ke (Cornwall Island) from Cornwall and are returning to Cornwall via the CBSA Port of Entry without having travelled to the United States, your response to the primary question will be “No.”
Additional follow up questions may be asked of travellers for clarity.