News that the Aldergrove border port of entry will get a new building and Nexus lane, starting in 2016, and that there will be an expanded commercial port of entry there, is excellent news for Langley and the surrounding area.
With border crossings becoming increasingly congested, due largely to population growth and proximity to major events and shopping on both sides of the line, it makes sense for the Aldergrove crossing to offer a Nexus lane for those with passes. It will help alleviate some lengthy border lineups on occasion, but most importantly, it will offer much improved service to a large population area.
The news about the commercial port of entry is particularly important to Langley. Growth of the Gloucester industrial area and proximity to Highway 1 makes it a natural for businesses to ship goods via Highway 13 and the Guide Meridian in Washington state. Having to take commercial goods a further distance to the Pacific Highway or Huntingdon ports of entry costs importers and exporters time and money.
Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce has been making this point for years, and MP Mark Warawa has taken their case to Ottawa time and time again. Both deserve a lot of praise for sticking with this issue. In the long run, this will be good for Langley businesses and will boost employment in this area.
The two Langleys already have a population of 135,000. The population is growing, and surrounding communities like Abbotsford, Surrey and Maple Ridge bring the area population to well over 750,000. It makes sense to have border traffic be as seamless as possible, particularly in an age where border security is a much more important issue than it used to be.
It is also time for Canada Border Services Agency to again consider 24 hour service. The opening hours of 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. (midnight) at the Aldergrove crossing are a quaint anachronism, dating back to when Langley was wholly rural. Having the border open 24 hours a day would offer even more service to travellers.