It’s a border crossing many Yukoners know well, crossing each time they make their way home from Skagway, Alaska.
For those who travelled to Alaska and back this summer they may have noticed some changes at the Fraser, British Columbia border.
Completed upgrades made to the Fraser port of entry were celebrated Sept. 1 at an event held at the border crossing, where it was noted this is the first in a series of planned upgrades and replacements to 24 ports of entry across the country. The upgrades will be done over the next eight years, the Canada Border Services Agency said.
“The CBSA is proud to introduce the upgraded port of entry in Fraser,” Nina Patel, the regional director general for the border agency, said. “It is designed to fulfill our top priorities of keeping Canada safe, providing a smooth and more efficient border crossing experience for travellers, while providing our officers with the modern infrastructure and technology they need to continue to do excellent work.”
A modular building kit was used to replace the Fraser port of entry building that originally opened in 1979, with the project done in partnership with Natural Resources Canada.
The new energy efficient structure features safety, security and technology improvements while also being built for the northern climate.
The border agency noted it worked with Indigenous and local communities as well as US Customs and Border Protection.
As part of the agency’s commitment to truth and reconciliation efforts, Indigenous interpretive signs about the Taku River Tlingit First Nation will be displayed. Moving forward with the plans for the remaining 23 ports of entry to be upgraded, the agency said it will continue working to include meaningful cultural representation from local Indigenous communities.
“The upgraded Fraser port of entry is the first of many important projects planned to modernize our border and demonstrate our commitment to protecting our communities while ensuring an efficient travelling experience,” Marco E.L. Mendicino, the federal minister of Public Safety, said. “The integration of local Indigenous interpretive signage, designed with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation, is another step towards reconciliation and inclusion at our border and across Canada.”
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fraser border crossing — the northernmost border in B.C. — saw more than 360,000 travellers cross into Canada each year.
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