Customs building keeps lines short

Hundreds of vehicles hauling boats and filled with fishing gear passed through Canada Customs here last weekend without incident—and officials are citing shorter waits for those entering the country.
“We certainly didn’t have huge line-ups,” said Kent Campbell, acting superintendent for Canada Customs and Immigration here. “There wasn’t a time that all four lanes were open. It wasn’t needed.”
Campbell also noted the number of visitors to Canada was down slightly this weekend compared to last year.
Instead of the 3,354 vehicles that entered from the U.S. on the Thursday through Saturday of last year’s Victoria Day weekend, only 3,143 vehicles crossed this year.
The number of Canadian travellers, however, increased from 1,419 vehicles last year to 1,500 over the same period this year.
Even though only three lanes were used, Campbell said travellers avoided mile-long line-ups that were common in previous years.
“Even one extra lane means a big difference. You can put through that many more cars,” he said.
While an influx of U.S. tourists is expected for their Memorial Day holiday this weekend, Campbell said eight new summer Customs officers just started and once they are fully-trained, they will be able to further cope with the increased traffic.
Still, Campbell admitted some drivers were confused about where to go after getting off the bridge.
“We get a couple a day that are kind of confused and that will happen until they do whatever they are going to do around the corner,” he said, adding staff and security cameras keep a lookout for these wayward vehicles.
“For the number of people we have every day, a couple a day isn’t too bad.”