Nestled between Canada’s beautiful Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park in the U.S., the seasonal Chief Mountain border crossing officially opened for the season on Tuesday, allowing travellers to pass through.
After a long winter, heavy snowfall and weeks of preparation, Tuesday morning alone saw a handful of eager voyagers passing through and officials said they are excited for the many more expected to come throughout the spring and summer months.
“We had people arriving as soon as it opened, they’re just anxious to get through here,” said Darren Cahoon, the superintendent for the Canada Border Services Agency.
“We anticipate a busy summer,” he added. “We expect, based on [the] past few years… about 130,000 travellers to come through here between now and Sept. 30.
“This is a beautiful spot and we’re very lucky to have this unique location to welcome tourists and Canadians to Canada.”
However, being such a popular spot for tourists also means strict enforcement is necessary to prevent narcotics and firearms from entering the country.
“We do every year have our share of people who try to get past us with something,” Cahoon said.
“Every year we have seizures of firearms here and seizures of narcotics, but our officers are just as vigilant here as they are at any other location.”
Cahoon added that making Americans and international travellers aware of Canada’s laws before they try to cross the border is imperative for them to avoid getting charges laid against them or having their property seized.
“We like to send out a message that travellers should declare all firearms and leave their handguns at home,” Cahoon said.
The Chief Mountain border crossing is located on Highway 6 and will close for the season on Sept. 30.
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