Tester asks Montanans for feedback on Port of Whitetail

Senator launches website to gather public input during halt in construction

(BIG SANDY, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester is asking Montanans for their ideas on the recent decision by the Canadian government to close its side of the Port of Whitetail to traffic from the U.S. in April of 2011.

Tester today urged Montanans to share their feedback online at tester.senate.gov/Whitetail.

Before Canada’s announcement, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security had planned to upgrade the Port of Whitetail and remove asbestos in the buildings there.  At Tester’s request, the Department temporarily halted the work in order to gather public input.

“I’m leaning toward recommending we close down the Port of Whitetail,” Tester said.  “But if folks have other ideas, this timeout in construction is a good opportunity to hear them out.  I want to hear all ideas from folks in Montana to make sure this is the best path forward.”

Tester has heard several ideas from Montanans already, including:

  • Do nothing, letting the Canadians close their side, but upgrading the port on the U.S. side and keeping it open;
  • Close the Port of Whitetail entirely;
  • Allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection to continue to work with the Canadians to find another way to allow the border crossing to remain open in both directions.

Tester will share the comments he receives with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.