CBSA Northern Ontario Region: Operational and enforcement highlights from 2023

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Northern Ontario Region (NOR) today released operational and enforcement highlights covering the period from January 1 to October 31, 2023.

With its boundaries stretching from the Arctic Circle in the north, to the Manitoba border in the west, the Quebec border in the east and the outskirts of Metropolitan Toronto in the south, the NOR covers almost 3 million square kilometres.

Border management and enforcement services are delivered at seven land ports of entry, two rail crossings, three seasonal ports of entry, two marine ports of entry, over 100 marine reporting sites, one ferry crossing and more than 25 airports and air reporting sites.

Welcoming travellers into Canada

Officers in the NOR welcomed over 4.7 million travellers to Canada by air, land, marine and rail, up from 3.4 million travellers during the same period in 2022. Officers also processed more than 1,300 asylum seeker claims. Did you know:

  • The NOR clears travellers at bustling air and highway ports of entry, as well as unique seasonal seaplane and ferry ports, such as Sand Point Lake and Point Alexandria (Wolfe Island).
  • Border services officers process thousands of cars and trucks each day. However, the Fort Frances port of entry welcomed a particularly unique vehicle in August: a Zamboni towing a fishing boat!
  • NOR facilitated the arrival of more than 1,700 Ukrainians and 130 Afghans fleeing conflict.

Supporting a growing economy

The CBSA enforces laws in support of trade and commerce. We also collect duties and taxes. This year:

  • Border services officers in the NOR actioned over 369,000 commercial goods releases, helping to grow our economy while keeping Canada safe.
  • NOR officers processed over 232,000 commercial trucks, 15,600 commercial rail cars and 13,900 commercial marine conveyances.
  • Officers cleared more than 636,460 courier shipments. Take a behind the scenes look at Ottawa Cargo Services to learn how courier shipments are screened.

Protecting Canadians

Employees on the front line protect our communities by intercepting contraband and bad actors while managing the flow of people and goods to and from Canada. This year:

  • Border services officers in the NOR seized 45 firearms.
  • NOR officers seized over 200 weapons. In Nipigon, officers seized several prohibited weapons, including a nunchaku and conductive energy weapons, and laid criminal charges.
  • Officers made 863 illegal drug seizures, preventing harmful substances from reaching our communities.
  • CBSA officers have experience identifying persons driving under the influence of alcohol. Officers in the NOR arrested several motorists in violation of impaired driving laws keeping our roads safe.

Collaborating with Indigenous communities

At the Cornwall port of entry, the domestic lane continues to offer a smoother border crossing experience and shorter wait times for Akwesasne community members. This year, officers cleared more than 583,000 domestic travellers in Cornwall.

In June, the Cornwall port of entry welcomed elementary school students from Akwesasne to learn about the role of border services officers. In September, officers in Cornwall had the honour of assisting with the repatriation of a historic birch bark canoe to the Kahnawà:ke community.

The CBSA is committed to listening to and actively supporting Indigenous Peoples and communities. We look forward to continued partnership and Nation-to-Nation dialogue, including with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.

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