BRIDGE UPDATE – MOHAWKS FILE AGAINST Government and CBSA

BRIDGE UPDATE – MOHAWKS FILE AGAINST Government and CBSA

Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Files Federal Court Action Against the
Minister of Public Safety and the President of the Canada Border Services
Agency.

The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne has instructed its lawyers to file an
application for judicial review of the decision of the Minister of Public
Safety Peter Van Loan and the President of the Canada Border Services
Agency Stephen Rigby to close the international port of entry located in
the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne.

The decision to close the Cornwall Port of Entry was obviously taken in
haste and is illegal and severely detrimental to the interests of the
Mohawks of Akwesasne and the surrounding communities that rely on the
bridge.  It is also contrary to the mandate of the Canada Border Services
Agency to facilitate the free flow of persons and goods through the port
of entry.

The abrupt closure of the Cornwall Port of Entry has disrupted the lives
of the Mohawks of Akwesasne and has put the Mohawks of Akwesasne at risk.
The provision of health, sanitation, public safety, education, child
welfare and other basic services has been negatively affected by the
closure of the Cornwall Port of Entry.  Local businesses have seen a
substantial effect on their revenues.  Many Mohawks are now relying on
boats to cross the St. Lawrence River in order to travel to their places
of work.  Mohawks also report that the closure has put them to significant
additional costs.

Many Mohawks are concerned that the decision to close the Cornwall Port of
Entry is a punitive and discriminatory measure in response to the exercise
by the Mohawks of Akwesasne of their fundamental freedom of expression and
peaceful assembly.

Mohawk Council of Akwesasne will be seeking a declaration from the Court
that the decision to close the international port of entry is invalid and
unlawful and an order directing the Canada Border Services Agency to open
the international port of entry located on Kawehnoke and to delay the
deployment of firearms by the CBSA at the Cornwall Port of Entry pending
consultations between Canada and the Mohawks of Akwesasne.

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