Bon­sant would like an­swers

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Staff

Lo­cal MP France Bon­sant is un­able to give a com­ment re­gard­ing last Fri­day’s meet­ing be­tween Prime Min­is­ter Harper and Pres­i­dent Obama. “When­ever we ask a ques­tion, in the House or in com­mit­tee, we are un­able to get an an­swer from the gov­ern­ment. We have no idea what’s go­ing on or what the Harper gov­ern­ment is try­ing to do about the bor­der prob­lem. I have seven bor­der cross­ings in my rid­ing and I can­not get an an­swer from that gov­ern­ment on the fu­ture of them!” Mrs. Bon­sant went on to say that her col­league Maria Mourani, who is on the Pub­lic Se­cu­rity House Com­mit­tee, is also com­ing away empty-handed af­ter ques­tion­ing the Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment about what is go­ing on.

Florent Roy, the lo­cal union of­fi­cial for the Canada Bor­der Ser­vices Agency, told the Stanstead Jour­nal that the hours at Glen Sut­ton, Morses Line and East Pin­na­cle and other sta­tions will be lim­ited to day open­ing only, from 8 am to 4 pm, while the Amer­i­can bor­der post will re­main open 24 hours a day.

If this was not enough, a Sen­a­to­rial com­mit­tee in the United States de­nounced what it called the lax en­force­ment on the North­ern bor­der fol­low­ing a gov­ern­ment re­port from the Gen­eral Ac­count­ing Of­fice at the re­quest of Home­land Se­cu­rity and Gov­ern­men­tal Af­fairs Com­mit­tee Chair­man, Joe Lieber­man, that stated: 32 of the nearly 4,000 north­ern bor­der miles in fis­cal year 2010 had reached an ac­cept­able level of se­cu­rity.

Com­ment­ing on the re­port, Sen­a­tor Lieber­man from Connecticut said: “The num­bers speak for them­selves. These find­ings should sound a loud

alarm to the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity, the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment, and our Com­mit­tee. The Amer­i­can peo­ple are grossly un­der-pro­tected along our north­ern bor­der. We’ve got to work to­gether with our neigh­bours in Canada to raise our guard. We should at the very least be able to de­tect all il­le­gal en­tries from Canada into the U.S. so we can get this in­for­ma­tion into the hands of law en­force­ment agen­cies that are well sit­u­ated to make the nec­es­sary ar­rests.”

Maine Sen­a­tor Su­san Collins, a Repub­li­can, said: “The fact that the Bor­der Pa­trol has full situ- ational aware­ness of only ap­prox­i­mately one-quar­ter of the miles along the north­ern bor­der is cause for concern. This re­port con­cludes that the Bor­der Pa­trol, to­gether with its Cana­dian and state and lo­cal law en­force­ment part­ners, does not have the abil­ity to de­tect il­le­gal cross­ings and to in­ter­cept these in­di­vid­u­als along the vast ma­jor­ity of the bor­der with Canada. These il­le­gal crossers in­clude in­di­vid­u­als seek­ing to il­le­gally im­mi­grate, crim­i­nals traf­fick­ing hu­mans and smuggling drugs and, po­ten­tially, ter­ror­ists. One of my top pri­or­i­ties has been to en­sure that our bor­der is open to our friends but closed to those who would do us harm.”

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