Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

August 5, 2009


Victoria Star, CA - Officials are hesitant to place the blame on one specific reason, but both American and Canadian border officials are in agreement that the numbers of people traveling between Canada and the United States on the Maine-New Brunswick border are dropping.

Monthly statistics comparing 2008 to 2009 border visits shows the number of visitors entering Canada significantly dropped on a year-to-year basis, with the exception of the St. Leonard crossing.

St. Leonard's CBSA port had 17, 470 people cross the border in May 2008. This number grew by 4,024 to a total of 21,494 in May 2009.

But other border parts experienced sizable drops. In May 2008 Grand Falls welcomed 31, 357 people, but in May 2009 the activity dropped to 15,438, more than a 50 per cent decrease.

Andover's port saw 28,346 visitors in May 2008 and 23,843 visits in May 2009. The small port of River de Chute went from 520 visits to 486 over the same time period.

In Carleton County, Centreville numbers dropped from 15,034 to 11, 267 visits, while the major border crossings at Woodstock went from 54,313 visits to 38,382. Forest City had 498 people cross through the border in May 2008. In May 2009 the number of people entering dropped to 370 people.

United States Customs and Border Protection officials were asked for similar statistics on their Maine border ports, but would not provide the data.

Instead Theodore Woo, OFO Office of Public Affairs Liaison, merely stated the traffic was down at American ports.

As of June 1, 2009, according to the new Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative rules, Canadian citizens were required to present a NEXUS card, passport or an enhanced driver's license when crossing the U.S. border.

Children under 15 years old only require proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. The part that could hurt the local economy, however, is the requirement that American citizens must also have a passport to re-enter the U.S. after a visit to Canada. . .

Businesses that depend on cross-border traffic are worried that fewer travelers will hurt the border economy. Several local retailers and event organizers say the new law in June is already delivering a negative impact, but others say it's too soon to tell.

Some tourist destinations are already feeling the impact. At Potato World in Florenceville-Bristol, one of the area's biggest tourist attractions, visits from Americans have decreased dramatically.

"We're noticing a huge decrease," said Potato World manager Mardi Thornton. "We can tell by the money coming through the till."

"We're not seeing the U.S. visitation at all and it's the passports, I'm quite sure," she added.

"We've had maybe a dozen through since we opened and by now we would usually have had 100.". . .


Anonymous Mairead said...

Am I really the only one noticing that the US seems to be being made over into the Soviet Union?

I can envision a time when everyone will be required to carry a valid passport at all times. "Just in case".

"Dokumenty vashi, pozhalujsta!"

August 6, 2009 6:54 PM  
Anonymous sadism as entertainment and public policy said...

When imperial Rome brought the rest of the world in chains to the Colosseum, I don't imagine a lot of normal tourists came looking for fun.

August 6, 2009 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DHS is the stupidest legacy of G. W. Bush and his fascist crew. The border with Mexico is still a sieve, thanks to corruption and incompetence on both sides, whereas the border with Canada, which hasn't been a threat since 1815, is sealed up tight. Stupid, stupid, stupid waste of resources.

August 9, 2009 11:45 PM  

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