Crossing the line

It may be a 40 minute drive away, but Nelson is a border town.

It may be a 40 minute drive away, but Nelson is a border town. Access to the United States is easy and like so many communities within a stone’s throw of the international line, the bond to our southern neighbours is strong.

Today’s front page story will certainly grab the attention of those who travel to the US or depend on American tourists for a boost to their income. It will also be of interest to those who value our sovereignty and security.

A leaked federal government document has sparked plenty of speculation. It seems Ottawa is considering some changes to border crossings across the country and Nelway is on the list.

At this point it seems pretty early in any process and the outcry by politicians is based on rumour more than anything. But Salmo mayor Ann Henderson is a veteran of local politics and her instincts tell her that by the time word reaches local government in these matters, talks are much farther along than most realize.

One of the most interesting bits of information being thrown around is the idea of a “remote-technology solution” which would employ cameras instead of people. This idea may be exciting for weed runners and zealous cross-border shoppers, but on the surface seems somewhat inconceivable.

Though replacing humans with cameras is unlikely, it does seem there are changes in the works at our local borders. Whether that is reduction in service or structural changes, it’s something worth our attention.

Love it or hate, our bonds to the US are strong in these parts. Anything done to alter the flow of traffic between the two countries will have a noticeable impact. If the Tory government is considering changes, it’s crucial they consult communities like Nelson and Salmo.