The Alaska House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution Monday urging the Canadian government to resume 24-hour operations at the border crossing between Hyder, Alaska, and nearby Stewart, British Columbia.
Starting this month, in a move to cut costs, the Canadian government started closing the border between midnight and 8 a.m. Stewart provides medical care and other services to the approximately 100 residents of Hyder, and there has been concern about what happens if there’s an emergency.
Canadian officials have said that the border can be opened between midnight and 8 a.m. in case of an emergency.
Monday’s resolution is sponsored by Ketchikan independent Rep. Dan Ortiz. In an announcement Tuesday, he says the closure will negatively affect commerce and tourism, as well as readily available emergency needs.
Residents of both Hyder and Stewart have said they disagree with the overnight closure. While small, Hyder is a popular tourism destination, and is home to a Forest Service bear viewing site. Both communities benefit from the tourism traffic.
House Joint Resolution 22 will be sent to the Senate for consideration. The Legislature is due to adjourn this week.