Government of Canada to fund expansion at border crossing facility in Lacolle, Quebec

    OTTAWA, Feb. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada will commit
$10 million to expand the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) facilities at
the Lacolle-Champlain border crossing, one of the ten busiest Canada-United
States border crossings. The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public
Safety, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence
Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
    Funded through the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund, the project
consists primarily of the expansion of commercial and bus processing
facilities. The project is designed to improve border infrastructure along the
Canadian side of the corridor, enhance safety, and relieve traffic congestion.
    "This government is committed to maintaining a smart and secure border,
and that starts with the proper facilities," said Minister Day. "This funding
will go towards enhancing the capacity of one of Canada's most important land
border crossings and recognizes the critical importance of the border in
ensuring Canada's security and its economic prosperity."
    "The Government of Canada's funding for this initiative will help to
maintain the competitive position of the Lacolle crossing, a key trade
corridor to the United States," said Minister Cannon. "Improvements to the
existing commercial and bus processing facilities will also complement the
capacity improvements resulting from significant infrastructure investments on
the U.S. side of the border crossing."
    "Our members always welcome such infrastructure improvements. This
particular investment will provide Border Services Officers with a state of
the art facility at Quebec's busiest border crossing," said Jean-Pierre
Fortin, Customs Excise Union's 1st National Vice-President. "This will improve
the flow of legitimate commercial and traveller volumes, thus providing
officers with a safer work environment, allowing them to direct more attention
on high-risk individuals and goods."
    Lacolle is the sixth-busiest Canada-U.S. commercial border crossing. In
2006, Lacolle accounted for approximately 735,000 commercial vehicle crossings
(398,000 to the U.S. and 337,000 to Canada), and approximately 2,000
commercial vehicles per day.
    Guided by the National Policy Framework for Strategic Gateways and Trade
Corridors, investments under the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund are
designed to improve the flow of goods between Canada and the rest of the
world. This merit-based fund will enhance infrastructure at key locations,
such as major border crossings between Canada and the United States.
    This $2.1-billion fund will focus on strategic trade corridors and
international gateways. Eligible projects will include the core National
Highway System, border facilities impacted by increased trade flows,
intermodal connectors and facilities, international bridges and tunnels,
rail/road grade separations, short-line rail, short-sea shipping and
intelligent transportation systems.
    This week's Budget announcement injected $174 million over two years to
make the border smarter and more secure. This includes $75 million for CBSA
operations and $14 million to expand the NEXUS program.
    As well, the Government of Canada introduced amendments to the Customs
Act that will give the CBSA the tools and flexibility they need to assess risk
at the border.
    The amendments will make it mandatory for all businesses involved in the
import trade chain to provide the CBSA with electronic data on their shipments
before the goods reach Canada. With this advance information, the CBSA will be
able to make better decisions about the admissibility of the goods, including
whether the goods pose a risk to Canadians.
    Other amendments will enable the CBSA to fully implement
customs-controlled areas, which will provide border services officers with the
flexibility to examine goods, and question and search people anywhere within
those areas, as opposed to only at exit points as in the current Act.

For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700;
Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Transport Canada is
online at Subscribe to news releases and speeches at and keep up to date on the latest from Transport
Canada. This news release may be made available in alternative formats for
persons with visual disabilities.

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