Border campaign launched

Dear editor:
Ongoing discussion by politicians in Canada and the United States has created misunderstandings and worry of crossing the Canada/U.S. border. This confusion is detrimental to tourism and service operators on both sides of the border, but more importantly, it is unfounded.
Our organization, the Easy Crossing Council (ECC), has launched a campaign to inform travellers that border crossing is quick, easy, and doesn’t require a passport for citizens of Canada or the U.S.
We have created a summer awareness campaign, which includes advertising, an interactive web property (www.easycrossing.info), promotions and an outreach to communicate our message.
Our statistics indicate a typical border crossing takes less than 10 minutes with no delays for cars crossing Niagara’s three bridges (the Peace Bridge, Rainbow Bridge, and the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge) some 90 percent of the time in either direction.
Canadian and American citizens can cross the border in either direction in less than 10 minutes with only photo ID and proof of birth.
For your readers planning to cross the border this summer and visit Canada, we recommend a few steps before and upon arrival at the border to ensure a rapid crossing.
Before leaving, visitors should check border conditions by calling the border traffic conditions hotline (1-800-715-6722), try to avoid peak crossing periods like holiday weekends and late afternoons on Saturdays and Sundays, and ensure they have proper identification for all passengers in the vehicle.
On arrival at the border, visitors should ensure they have proper identification ready to present the Customs or Immigration inspector for all passengers, and receipts ready and totalled for all purchases and goods carried in the vehicle.
It is important that visitors follow the inspector’s instructions carefully and answer his or her questions truthfully.
It is important that your readers do not feel intimidated by the Canada/U.S. border.
There are new and exciting attractions on both sides of the border and we must ensure that proposals for enhanced security do not impact our freedom to enjoy—firsthand—the fruits of the exceptional relationship between our two countries.
(Signed),
Carolyn A. Bones
President, Niagara Falls
Chamber of Commerce

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