The tiny border crossing at Piney in south-eastern Manitoba is one of two Canadian ports to be involved in a Canada Border Services Agency remote traveller processing pilot project, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said today.
Toews said the objectives of the pilot project are to test the viability and potential benefits of expanding remote traveller processing at select, small and remote ports of entry as a way to increase efficiency. No jobs are to be lost.
The pilot at Piney is to see registered travellers use technology to be processed remotely. The CBSA will conduct pre-screening verification on those interested in participating, at no cost to the applicants. Applicants must be Canadian or American citizens, Canadian permanent residents, or lawful permanent residents of the United States. Only those who meet the assessment criteria will be permitted to participate in this pilot. Details on registration have yet to be announced.
During the pilot, after-hours travellers arriving at the port of entry will be processed by a border services officer located at a remote-processing centre in Hamilton through a two-way audio and one-way video kiosk. Cameras will be installed to provide the officer with the ability to see the traveller and the vehicle. No changes will occur during regular business hours and travellers will be processed according to normal procedures.
Currently, the Piney crossing is closed at night.
The Piney port of entry was chosen as a pilot site due to the low volume of commercial traffic and low traveller volumes processed on a daily basis, no more than two dozen vehicles a day.
The other border crossing in the pilot project is at Morses Line, Quebec.