RCMP pack up, tear down facilities at Quebec’s Roxham Road | CBC News

RCMP pack up, tear down facilities at Quebec’s Roxham Road | CBC News


With the number of people crossing into the country through Roxham Road dwindling, the constant presence of officers there has been deeemed unnecessary.

Number of people crossing into Canada through Roxham road has dwindled, RCMP says

Antoni Nerestant · CBC News


An officer is standing in front of a machine picking up debris.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police began tearing down structures at Roxham Road on Monday morning. (Louis-Marie Philidor/CBC)

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are taking down their facilities on Quebec’s Roxham Road, an unofficial border crossing that served as a pathway into the country for countless asylum seekers. 

In March, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden announced that they were closing a long-standing loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement. The agreement calls for asylum seekers to apply for refugee status in the first of two countries they enter. Prior to March, the deal only applied to official ports of entry. 

According to numbers released by the RCMP on Monday, its officers have intercepted 113,000 people on Roxham Road since 2017. 

“Following the modification to the Safe Third Country Agreement, the number of migrants that cross through Roxham Road has dwindled and our presence here is no longer necessary,” said Sgt. Charles Poirier. 

RCMP officers help a family of asylum seekers with their luggage as they cross the border at Roxham Road.

A family of asylum seekers is seen here crossing the border at Roxham Road from New York into Canada in March, just before the changes to the Safe Third Country Agreement took effect. (The Canadian Press)

Poirier said the removal of its facilities on Roxham Road means the RCMP will no longer have a constant physical presence on Roxham Road. They will instead rely on regular patrols and camera surveillance.

The spokesperson said the facilities at Roxham Road were meant to last three to five years. The decrease in foot traffic and the considerable cost of upgrading the facilities played major roles in the decision to tear them down.

Poirier said he could not provide a specific price tag for the RCMP’s continued presence at the unofficial border crossing, only saying it was in the millions.

“At certain moments, there were hundreds of RCMP agents per week working here,” he said. “We are back to the deployment we had prior to the migrant crisis.”


Antoni Nerestant has been with CBC Montreal since 2015. He’s worked as a video journalist, a sports reporter and a web writer, covering anything from Quebec provincial politics to the 2022 Beijing Olympics.


    Submit a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *