Letter to the Editor – Bernadette Clement – Seaway International Bridge Crisis – Akwesasne – Cornwall Ontario


November 4, 2009

For the past 5 months, the people of Cornwall along with our close neighbours, the people of Akwesasne, have been struggling as we deal with the makeshift  “temporary” border facility at the foot of the Seaway International Bridge.

And now with the snow of winter almost upon us, a realistic long-term solution is still nowhere in sight.

Meanwhile, individual hardship, social disruption and economic loss continue to mount.

Our Mayor Bob Kilger and the Council of the City of Cornwall have publicly called for the federal government to now agree to third-party mediation.

Because this is not just a matter for the Canadian Border Services Agency to deal with. The CBSA is an “agency” of the Government of Canada. This is a matter for the Government of Canada to deal with. The minister responsible for this agency is Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan. And he has been and continues to be nowhere to be seen.

Today, I call upon our MP Guy Lauzon to become actively involved. We all know that when someone in authority is not part of solution, they may be part of the problem.

Because, no, an MP is notjust a messenger”, as Mr. Lauzon seems to think.

As a member of this Conservative government, our MP should be able to make it clear to his colleagues that their stubborn approach to this problem is wrong and that it is time for mediation.

As the Liberal candidate for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, I have asked the Liberal critic for Public Safety, Mr. Mark Holland, and the Liberal critic for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr.Todd Russell, along with officials from the office of the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Michael Ignatieff, to come to Cornwall, to see the situation first-hand. And they have come.

I call upon Mr. Lauzon to do the same thing and exercise any influence he may have with the Public Safety Minister to have him come here and get a first hand view of the issue we face.

It is time for us to move forward and to do better.


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  1. Ms. Clement,

    Of course Mr. Lauzon is only a messenger. He is a MP in the Harper government. You aren’t allowed to have an opinion on how your lunch was with Harper.

    Would it not be best to just close down the POE and let both peoples be?

  2. If you prefer segregation, isolation, and apartheid policies, than, yes, that would appease glassbowl. But this issue is not about appeasing antiquated notions of canadians; peoples do have Human Rights that have been Universally accepted for over 60 years. Why is canadian bigotry towards indigenous peoples the toughtest wall to crack?

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