The Terrace Standard online on Feb. 26 and in its print edition of March 4 and the Feb. 27 issue of The Alaska Dispatch News both carried very complete articles about the controversial closing of the Canadian border crossing at Stewart/Hyder between midnight and 8:00 a.m. starting in April.
Since there aren’t any major shopping malls in Hyder, there isn’t a flood of Canadians going there to shop.
Alcohol and firearms sales can be controlled by having to present valid drivers licence ID, and some increased training of postal staff in both towns can enable control of any contraband shipments.
I’m not complaining about nor denigrating the Canadian Border Services Agency – they’re all fine folks doing a job they’ve been sent there to do.
But the security risks are so miniscule that IMHO there is very little justification for having any border checkpoint there at all.
Let’s make some constructive taxpayer cost-savings for a change.
The saved funding could be well used to upgrade equipment for the Stewart/Hyder fire departments, to increase staffing and the services at the Stewart Health Clinic/Hospital.
There could also be improved transit services in and out of the area for residents of that remote location.
If there’s any money left over, let’s put it into area garbage clean-up, and spruce-up of the shopping facilities to make it more attractive for all valuable visitors.
If you haven’t been there, I encourage a visit; public transit in and out is limited, but the people are wonderful, and the scenery is magnificent. A terrific tourist destination for all to visit.