Liberal Critic, Critiques Bridge Issue
Since late last spring Cornwall residence and businesses have been victimized by the ongoing border dispute. This issue was ignited when the Government of Canada decided to arm all of its border guards. The Cornwall Port of Entry is the only border crossing in this country that resides on a native reserve and this is where the problem lies. The natives of Akwesasne argue that it is their right to chose if they want armed border guards on their reservation, and they have made it clear that they don’t want armed guards.
The natives also express a fear for their safety as there is a belief that the border guards are racially profiling them. The former Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan decision on this issue was to leave the negotiations up to the CBSA.
There has been no action by the federal government on this issue now since late summer. Then last week a glimmer of hope was presented to Cornwallites as Van loan was shuffled from his position as Public Safety Minister and is now the Minister of International Trade. Like the rest of the media outlets in this community the Cornwall Free News attempted to talk to the new Public Safe Minister Vic Toews. Unfortunately he was unavailable for comment, the reason being that he is still too new to this portfolio to make an informed statement.
The Cornwall Free News decided to talk to Member of Parliament Mark Holland who is the Liberal Public Safety Critic. It is his job to shadow the Minister of Public Safety and to comment when he believes a mistake as been made. When asked his thoughts on how the Liberals would handle this issue Holland said, “we have been trying to get a third party mediator in to resolve this issue. This situation is something that should have never occurred and could have easily been avoided.”
Holland’s frustration with the governments inactivity this issue is evident when he said, “the government has sat on the sidelines and fanned the flames.” Local businesses especially in the downtown area have noticed a significant drop in revenue since the border dispute began. Holland believes that the Conservatives have turned their back on this riding when he said, “they essentially abandoned Cornwall and left the city in a tough economic situation in an already tough economic time.”
For more information on what Mark Holland thinks about this situation he can be contacted at, firstname.lastname@example.org. To get in contact with Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and see if there has been any new developments he can be reached at V@parl.gc.ca .
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