Cullen, Mayor Durant invite public safety minister to Stewart

OTTAWA – MP Nathan Cullen and Stewart Mayor Galina Durant are inviting the federal public safety minister, Steven Blaney, as well as his parliamentary secretary, Roxanne James, to Stewart, BC. In a letter sent to Blaney today, Cullen and Durant address the ongoing partial border closure between Stewart and the neighbouring town of Hyder, Alaska, which was put into effect by the Conservative government on April 1 of this year.

The invitation comes after Ms. James justified the closure by saying that the border crossing is “unused” on April 24th in response to questioning by Cullen in the House of Commons.

“We feel it is important for the government to understand and appreciate firsthand that this border crossing is not “’unused’, and that the effects of your government’s decision on our community will be widespread and harmful,” Cullen and Durant wrote in their letter to Blaney. “It is our hope that seeing the splendour of our beautiful town and the importance of an open border will persuade you to do the right thing and reverse the decision to keep it shuttered eight hours a day.”

“The government never bothered to consult or ask the community how this decision would affect them, their safety and their economy,” Cullen added from Ottawa. “This is a good opportunity for the minister and the parliamentary secretary to see firsthand how this decision will impact the way of life in these two interconnected communities.”

You can read the letter here.