Court denies Mohawks temporary relief during dispute over border crossing
MONTREAL, Que. - There will be no immediate solution to a border dispute involving a Mohawk community along the Canada-U.S. frontier.
Akwesasne Mohawks who live at the junction between Ontario, Quebec, and New York state have lost a legal battle in Federal Court.
They wanted an exemption from having to report to a temporary point of entry erected in the city of Cornwall.
The Federal Court has denied the request.
The dispute began with the native community protesting Ottawa's decision to provide firearms to border guards at Cornwall Island, on their territory.
The Canada Border Services Agency responded by closing the island crossing, and by setting up a temporary point of entry in the neighbouring city.
The Akwesasne reserve has land on both sides of the border and some residents, ignoring the border rules, have crossed without stopping at the checkpoint.
There have been repercussions: in some cases, people have had their vehicles seized after visiting the U.S. without reporting at the point of entry.
The Mohawks are awaiting a judicial review of Ottawa's decision to arm the guards and close the crossing.
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