SWEETGRASS, Mont. - One lane remained open again Thursday for emergency vehicles and residents at the Montana/Alberta border.
Since Saturday, Jan. 29, truckers have lined up their semi trucks along with hundreds of others blocking the entrance on both sides of the border in protests against mandatory vaccination requirements in Canada and the United States.
We were able to speak with both U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and both echoed that safety is their top concern.
"I've been here for 6 days," said CPL Curtis Peters, RCMP K-Division Spokesperson, on the ground at the Coutts Border Assembly.
CBP says almost everything is happening on the Canadian side of the border.
While they are continuing to work with both U.S. and Canadian law enforcement, there still isn't much they can do.
"Unless something were to happen in our port of entry or somebody were to cross into the U.S., that's when we would get involved. But like I said, most of the activity is going on north of the port in Canada, so we don't really have the jurisdiction or the authority to do anything with that situation," said Mark Hanson, Public Affairs Liaison for the Area Port of Sweetgrass, MT, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
RCMP says the safety of Canadians, law enforcement and protesters are their first priority.
"Since this started we've had ongoing discussions with the people involved here. The goal here is to return to a full restoration of normalcy for Highway 4 and for Coutts. So, we are continuing to work towards that goal," said Peters.
He went on to say he can't go into detail on exactly how they are working towards that goal, only that they remain on scene and are focused on reopening services.
As for things on the U.S. side, Hanson says the whole situation is affecting the Sweetgrass border.
"It is affecting our operations because it's cutting off travel to the port of entry but like I said, we are remaining open and ready for when travel does resume," said Hanson.
Something to note is that we have been reporting the Coutts port of entry into Canada has been closed.
Thursday afternoon, the RCMP says it's actually been open, you just couldn't access it.
Truckers say they opened one lane on each side as a sign of good faith, hoping to continue negotiations with parliament over those vaccine mandates.
"Things are not normal just yet and I don't know when they may be. And if there is an alternate route that could be taken, it'd be advisable to do that. There are still significant delays and traffic disruptions," said Peters.
There are actually 13 different border crossings between Montana and Canada that you can take and you can check wait times here.
We know that this is a very contentious issue and we work very hard to give you both sides, so here are the links to our sources.