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New fences, gate controls among Canada-U.S. border upgrades since ‘Freedom Convoy’

Canadian Border Services Agency is improving infrastructure at 11 international border crossings
A truck convoy of anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate demonstrators continue to block the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alta., Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

The Canadian Border Services Agency is improving the perimeter fences, gate controls and road infrastructure at 11 border crossings between the United States and Canada following the “Freedom Convoy” protests blockaded several crossings last year.

Protesters blocked ports of entry into Canada last year to oppose COVID-19 public health restrictions in solidarity with a massive demonstration that occupied the streets of downtown Ottawa for three weeks.

Transport Canada estimated as much as $3.9 billion in trade activity was halted because of the blockades, which was one of the factors in the prime minister’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act.

On Thursday, Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc said the improvements at the border was one of the ways the government is responding to the recommendations of a federal inquiry into the use of the Act.

The CBSA says other security measures installed at the border crossings include speed bumps, closed-circuit television upgrades, building-access controls and improved lighting.

The agency says it will look for more ways to improve the safety and security of Canada’s border crossings.

The Canadian Press