Editorial: Border wards

The announcement of changes to the Stewart/Hyder border hours reveals the deep-seated inability of a bureaucracy to properly explain itself

The fall out from the Canadian Border Services Agency’s announcement it wants to close the border between Stewart and Hyder, Alaska from midnight to 8 a.m. reveals the deep-seated inability of a bureaucracy to properly explain itself as much as anything else connected to this plan.

It’s obvious this is a move to save money, not an unreasonable expectation on the part of citizens who should expect their tax dollars to be spent wisely and with the greatest effect.

Somewhere, someplace deep inside the border agency’s bureaucracy there’s probably a perfectly reasonable explanation, backed by statistics and figures. There are numerous examples elsewhere of night time and seasonal closures.

But getting that rationale out in the open where it could be debated and critiqued is darn near impossible. Even the federal minister responsible for borders wouldn’t comment.

The announcement, by all accounts, came out of nowhere, dropped from the night sky at a Stewart council meeting.

Although the border agency said it “consulted” (a readily abused word on the part of decision-makers who have already made up their minds), there’s precious little evidence even this lip service took place.

Instead, Stewart residents and others are being left to flounder by the very government they support through their tax dollars.


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