LETHBRIDGE HERALD — COUTTS
Weekend travellers got a shock Friday when the delivery of a “suspicious” package temporarily shut down the Canada-U.S. border crossing at Coutts, Alberta.
Both sides of the border were closed and traffic turned away as police arrived to investigate the suspicious package, according to an RCMP news release issued just before 2 p.m. Friday. Lethbridge RCMP said only that they were investigating the matter with Canadian and U.S. border agents and that they did not yet have any details about the package in question.
“We are in the process of looking into the matter and I’m en route to that place,” Lethbridge RCMP Insp. Joe McGeough told the Lethbridge Herald Friday afternoon.
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) would not confirm the existence of a suspicious package, only that “we’re currently investigating a security incident,” according to CBSA spokesperson Lisa White.
As of 3 p.m., the crossing had been closed for about an hour and a half, White said. The building has not been evacuated and employees are still inside, although highway detours had been set up to re-direct traffic. The CBSA advised travellers going to the U.S. and coming back to Canada to use the border crossings at either Del Bonita or Carway until the Coutts port is re-opened. White said she didn’t know when that would be.
“We take all security incidents very seriously. We have plans in place to deal with these types of incidents and we activated them immediately because the safety and security of the public is our number one priority,” White said.