Manitoba border crossing cutbacks put on hold: CBSA

Changes to the hours at several southeastern Manitoba border crossings have been put on hold for now.

Canada Border Services Agency was supposed to cut back the hours at the Canadian Ports of Entry in South Junction, Piney and Tolstoi as of Nov. 26, but they are now reviewing those changes.

The proposed changes were for the closing time at the Piney POE to be pushed back from 10 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the South Junction crossing into Canada would close at 8 p.m. instead of midnight.

In a statement to Global News, the CBSA said “they will not be changing its hours of operation pending further review of its operational requirements and input received during public consultations.”

No timeline has been given on when a final decision will be made.

Many residents in the area work across the border and also go to the United States for health care and entertainment.

South Junction, Man., resident Brandon Bremault works with his dad at a Polaris factory in Roseau, Minn., meaning a 20-minute drive home for the Bremaults would take them on a detour which would add another 45 minutes.

“It takes money out of my pocket. I gotta maintain my car because I gotta drive another 45 miles. It hurts,” Bremault said.

“It sucks when the government kind of makes you feel ignored.”

Brandon Bremault

But several public meetings with many passionate and vocal residents were held and now it appears their concerns have been heard. A small victory for the area, but they hope the changes can still be scrapped for good.

“I hope they reverse the decision. We’re trying to promote the area and get tourism in there and closing the borders any hours affects what we’re trying to do,” Wayne Anderson, reeve of the RM of Piney, said.

Wayne Anderson, RM of Piney reeve

Brandon’s dad, Joe, was happy to see the community come together.

“It was nice seeing everybody together and standing up for this. It affects so many people, almost everybody in the community.

And for now, the Bremaults don’t have to worry about an extended trip home.

“Any day where it takes 20 minutes to drive home is a good day,” Bremault said.

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