Earlier this week, I met with representatives from the Minister of Public Safety’s office to stress the need to update the Customs Act so boaters and cottagers do not need to report to Canada Border Services every time they cross back into Canadian territory on bodies of water that straddle the international border.
I encouraged the Liberal government to make the necessary changes in the Customs Act to eliminate the needless red tape that serves no one’s interest.
This issue has been a thorn in the side of Canadian residents at Lake Metigoshe who frequently boat, fish, ski, or tube on the American side of the lake.
Lake Metigoshe cottagers were told the lake was designated as a Telephone Reporting Site where boaters were told they had to report in when crossing back into Canada.
The amount of time and taxpayers money spent on receiving calls from folks at Lake Metigoshe and other similar lakes can be much better spent on keeping illegal drugs or guns out of our country.
Many residents expressed their frustration and did not believe the system would do much to enhance security, particularly if all one is doing is fishing and not leaving their boat.
I believe that exempting Canadians from reporting to Canada Border Services, who are boating on lakes and rivers that cross into the United States, exclusively for pleasure and do not dock on American soil, will immediately alleviate unnecessary headaches.
There is no need for boaters to have to call the 1-800 number for simple things, like going for a boat cruise around the lake or waterskiing.
Furthermore, the only time someone should have to report to Canada Border Services is if they leave their boat and go onto shore in the United States.
I will fight for Westman residents and common sense measures at every turn because that is why you elected me.
I will continue to be a strong voice for our region and ensure that our voice is heard loud and clear in Ottawa.