South Glengarry requests removal of CBSA border checkpoint in Summerstown

In a decision on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, South Glengarry has asked the CBSA to remove the Summerstown Wharf, known by the border agency as the Summerstown Government Dock, as part of its list of designated water based reporting sites. The rarely used location would need the township to invest money to bring it up to CBSA standard. (Google Maps via Newswatch Group)

WILLIAMSTOWN – South Glengarry is asking the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to remove a seldom used shoreline border checkpoint in Summerstown.

Township Planner Joanne Haley told council Monday night she was surprised to learn there actually was a designated reporting site on the south side of County Road 2 at the foot of Richmond Road.

“I’m not sure anybody on council was surprised to find out that our Summerstown Wharf was a designated reporting site for CBSA but I know I certainly was when I received the call,” Haley said.

The site, called the “Summerstown Government Dock” by the CBSA and known locally as the Summerstown Wharf, is used for foreigners arriving by boat to report to CBSA by telephone.

As far as the location, there is essentially nothing there. Since the CBSA would require the township to put significant money into bringing the site up to spec – lighting, signs, a building for CBSA interviews and a telephone landline to name a few – township staff felt it was better to just have the CBSA remove the location altogether.

Border reporting statistics shared by the CBSA with the municipality show only two boats with a total of six passengers have used it in the last five year (once in 2018 for a boat with two passengers and once this year with a boat with four passengers).

“It hasn’t been an active site,” Haley said.

Council made no comments on the report but agreed to have staff make an application to the CBSA to have the designated site “extinguished.”

There are already several CBSA designated reporting sites for boaters along the St. Lawrence River, including Creg Quay Marina in Bainsville, Raisin River Marina in South Lancaster, Roger’s Marina and Summerstown Marina, both in Summerstown, the Grays Creek Marina Center in Glen Walter and Marina 200 in Cornwall.