CORNWALL, Ontario – The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA) have announced that as a part of their partnership with the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), a lane at the Cornwall Port of Entry will be designated for domestic travel only.
The new pilot project is expected to begin on Tuesday, Nov. 3 and will run for at least six months.
“The concept of a domestic lane has been talked about for several years. I’m pleased to see that a domestic lane pilot project is now being implemented at the Cornwall Port of Entry,” said Grand Chief Abram Benedict. “Wait times are a known contributor to many frustrations while crossing through the port. We hope that by implementing this pilot, wait times will be reduced. I look forward to the implementation, review and feedback from the community. We will continue to work collaboratively with the CBSA on other initiatives to improve the crossing experience.”
The new lane will be for those who are passing through the Port of Entry, but have not travelled through the United States to get there.
“It includes those who are travelling directly from Kawehno:ke (Cornwall Island), such as residents, and any traveller who has travelled to Kawehno:ke (Cornwall Island) directly from Cornwall, such as visitors, business people, teachers, service vehicles, etc. Domestic travel can include both Akwesasne residents and non-residents,” reads a statement from the MCA. ““International Travel” is defined as travellers who have been to the United States or transited through the United States (such as from the districts of Kana:takon (St. Regis) and Tsi Snaihne (Snye)). International travel can include both Akwesasne residents and non-residents.”
The domestic travel lane will be in what is now Lane 4 at the Port of Entry and will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
After the six month trial period, the initiative will be reviewed and modified as necessary.
“The domestic lane pilot is a great example of the ongoing collaboration between the MCA and the CBSA. It will facilitate travel and improve the border crossing experience at the CBSA Cornwall Port of Entry, especially for local residents needing to cross on a regular basis, whether that’s for school, shopping or attending appointments” said John Ossowski, President, Canada Border Services Agency. “This pilot shows what can be accomplished when people talk, listen and work together. It also demonstrates what our shared commitment to the Border Collaboration Initiative can achieve.”