By Ingrid Peritz
Globe and Mail (Quebec)
Few spots on the Canada-U.S. border would seem as tranquil as Morses Line. Cows vastly outnumber cars. You’re more likely to hear the sounds of songbirds than an idling 18-wheeler. Yet it’s here, on a rustling meadow seeded with clover and alfalfa just steps from the border with Quebec, that the Department of Homeland Security envisions a modern new border station to bolster security on its northern frontier. That is, unless dairy farmer Clement Rainville gets his way.
“They say they want to reinforce the border here. But we’re not at war.” ~Clement Rainville
In a David-and-Goliath standoff, Mr. Rainville and his family are resisting demands to hand over 4.9 acres of their farmland to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, arguing that it’s crucial to the operation of their third-generation family farm. Their protest has reverberated all the way to Washington, underscoring the tensions between post-9/11 security and preserving a traditional way of life.
“We need our land, it’s as simple as that,” said Mr. Rainville, whose grandfather moved to Vermont from rural Quebec a century ago. “They say they want to reinforce the border here. But we’re not at war. Canada has 33 million people, and I have no problem with Canadians and with my neighbours.”
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