Cornwall Chamber of Commerce Speaks Out to Minister Van Loan regarding Seaway International Bridge CRISIS – Cornwall Ontario – Akwesasne – October 27, 2009

It’s about time.   While my expectations of the Harper Government are low; based on their actions (lack thereof to date)  It’s good to see Cornwall speaking out for itself.  Kudos to Mr. Armstrong and the Chamber.


“October 27, 2009

The Hon. Peter Van Loan
Minister of Public Safety
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Van Loan:

As you are no doubt aware from your briefings, the Cornwall International Crossing issue has not been resolved. In fact, and according to recent media reports, negotiations are at a standstill and progress has been non-existent.

While it is not my intent to burden you with opposition rhetoric, MP Bob Rae, during a visit to Cornwall, offered the following observation and I should point out he readily acknowledges the issue to be a complex one. According to Mr. Rae, “This can’t be seen as a minor issue for the [CBSA] agency to solve. It can’t be treated as a bureaucratic issue. It requires leadership on both sides.”

Speaking for the entire Chamber, I am in accord with Mr. Rae’s assessment and it follows that the time has come for the government to intervene. Both you and local MP, Guy Lauzon have stated that CBSA and Mohawk leaders have the ability to successfully negotiate without government assistance. Regrettably, that has not happened and the Chamber believes it is time for the government as a whole and your Ministry in particular to take an active role in steering the issue to a satisfactory close.

To that end, the Chamber strongly urges you to visit Cornwall and view, first hand, the situation and to meet with the parties involved. It is the Chamber’s view that until that kind of leadership is demonstrated, productive negotiations will not continue and the matter will not be resolved.

The uncertainty of the future with respect to Cornwall remaining an international crossing is already having an impact on the economic health of Cornwall and its surrounding region and may well affect the ability of the municipality to attract business, industry and new residents.

From a broader perspective, the issue is impacting both sides of the border. Moreover, it is serving to tarnish the image of a community that has strived to position itself as a desirable place to work and to live.  Without your intervention and that of your Ministry, the impact will continue to affect the entire region.

Respectfully submitted,

Scott Armstrong



Bob Kilger, Mayor of Cornwall
Guy Lauzon, MP
Mike Mitchell, Grand Chief: Mohawk Council of Akwesasne”

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