The Associated Press: Senator wants border crossing closed

HELENA, Mont. — A U.S. senator with an influential voice in the dispute over a little-used border post between Montana and Canada said Wednesday that officials should scrap an $8.5 million stimulus-funded upgrade and shut down the underused crossing.

Sen. Jon Tester said Canada, which surprised U.S. officials by closing its side of the Whitetail port this summer, was not interested in sharing a new station or fully reopening its side of the border. He said a renovation to the port going into Saskatchewan no longer makes sense.

The port is one of a few that services a rural and long stretch of the border in northeastern Montana. Residents say it is largely used by farmers who live in the area for trade and convenience.

Federal officials say they can’t keep the border station open without modernizing security. Before terrorism became a chief concern, the station closed for the night by placing orange cones in the road.

“The border is only as strong as the weakest link. Quite honestly, we couldn’t leave a sub-par station up there without the upgrade,” the Democrat told The Associated Press. “What has happened since then is, Canada has said ‘Well, we are not going to deal with it.'”

Read the whole article >>