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Cablegate: Mapping the Border:New Brunswick Campobello/Lubec

VZCZCXRO8866
RR RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHOT #3205/01 2971503
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 241503Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4214
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEAHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 003205

SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D COPY ///ENTRY IN PARA 1 ADDED Point Roberts////

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CAN, CA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CA PTER PGOV CVIS PHUM
SUBJECT: MAPPING THE BORDER:NEW BRUNSWICK CAMPOBELLO/LUBEC
CROSSING


OTTAWA 00003205 001.2 OF 002


1. The Lubec Maine/Campobello Island, New Brunswick
crossing is the easternmost land border port of entry on our
northern border. The island -- in Canada is only accessible
to the rest of Canada by road through the U.S., mirroring our
westernmost port of entry in Point Roberts, Washington, a piece
of U.S. territory only accessible through Canada. The only
way off the island is a short, two-lane bridge over the Lubec
Strait/Passamaquody Bay waters into Lubec, Maine which is an
hour,s drive from the next port of entry back into Canada at
Calais, Maine/St. Stephen New Brunswick. In the summer, a
ferry connects the island directly to the Canadian mainland.

2. How does this geographic anomaly play out for the roughly
1500 full-time residents of this 9-mile long island, which
relies extensively on summer tourism? Some residents cross
3-4 times a day for work or personal business and or
pleasure. The same Canadian import restrictions apply for
groceries and shopping done in the U.S. so duties on
purchases over $50 apply if travel is less than 24 hours.
There is no gasoline on the island so all car fill-ups are
done in the U.S. We have well-oiled agreements at the border
to facilitate movement of emergency vehicles back and forth,
with inspectors getting advance notice of travel and then
waving through ambulances. We have also been able to resolve
to everyone,s satisfaction the affect of complying with the
advance notice of the Bioterrorism Act for imported food
products which are purchased in Canada, but routed through
the U.S. to get to Campobello Island. Our inspectors at
Calais seal or bond the truck transporting these goods, and
then inspectors at Campobello Island confirm the seal has not
been broken before the truck enters back into Canada.

3. According to CBP port director, the port of entry has
changed since 9/11, describing that the function has moved
beyond pre-9/11 routine inspections to greater emphasis on
security and increased inspections. In fact, while we were
speaking, his office was carrying out an &enforcement
action8 returning a third country national (through the U.S.
to mainland Canada at St. Stephen) who had fallen out of
approved student status in the U.S. He said crossings have
fallen from 1100-1300 to 800-900 per day, reflecting drops
due to exchange rates and higher gas prices this past summer,
as well as reports of more difficulty at the border. He
insisted that the longest delays have been only 30 minutes,
but Campobello contacts told us they approached two hours
this summer.

4. Staffing at the port of entry remains a challenge,
despite increases in the numbers from 7-13 full-time
inspectors in the last five years. Turnover and filling 24
hour shifts create logistical issues. CBP also has an
inspector assigned to the Eastport harbor which falls under
the Lubec port of entry. The other major inspection
challenge has been increased flow of illegal opiates,
re-packaged from pharmaceuticals.

5. The new passport requirement is one of two main issues on
the island, especially given the local residents, dependence
on the U.S. The port director estimated that 80 per cent of
non-locals already have passports. &No doubt about it, a
passport makes our job easier,8 he said. A much lower
estimate was true though for the local population.

6. The other major issue on the island is the proposed
Liquified Natural Gas terminals in Passamaquody Bay which
QLiquified Natural Gas terminals in Passamaquody Bay which
would see 2 tankers a week coming through the bay waters to
unload the LNG. Tourism and fishing are the major industries
in this region, and on the island there is a palpable
sentiment that the LNG terminals and tankers would harm both.
Signs in opposition to the terminal were seen across the
island. In Maine, on the other hand, views that the new
terminal would create jobs, both in the construction of the
terminal and in any industry re-locating to this poorest
county in Maine would be beneficial.

7. Campobello is home to the binational historic site and
park preserving the Roosevelt summer cottage. In the 42
years since the binational park was established, it has
expanded from 10 acres of the resident area to include over
2200 acres of natural wilderness. The independent commission
running the park will meet in November to decide on a new
proposal to create a joint memorial to human rights,
reflecting on Eleanor Roosevelt and Canadian John Peters
Humphrey, author of the UN Declaration of Human rights.


Visit Canada's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/ottawa


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WILKINS

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