The International Boundary Commission, which maintains the three-meter-(almost 20-foot)-wide "boundary vista" along the border, claims authority to grant or deny permission to build anything within the vista. That means, for example, if a natural gas pipeline, a highway, an electric power line, a railroad track, etc. is to cross the boundary, those who want to build it must apply to the Commission for permission. Or monuments like that found in the International Peace Garden on the boundary between Manitoba and North Dakota or one on the boundary between British Columbia and Washington.

I understood this to have been agreed in this treaty signed in 1925.

Looking over the treaty, I'm trying to find the part that says the Commission has that authority described in my first paragraph above. I don't find it very explicit, but I'm not a lawyer. I did find this:

the Commissioners appointed under the provisions of the Treaty of April 11, 1908, are hereby jointly empowered and directed: to inspect the various sections of the boundary line between the Dominion of Canada and the United States and between the Dominion of Canada and Alaska at such times as they shall deem necessary; to repair all damaged monuments and buoys; to relocate and rebuild monument's which have been destroyed; to keep the boundary vistas open; to move boundary monuments to new sites and establish such additional monuments and buoys as they shall deem desirable; to maintain at all times an effective boundary line[ . . . ]

Note the words "to keep the boundary vistas open". Is that it? Or is there something else about the authority to grant or deny permission to build close to the boundary? (I had expected to find something along the lines of "The Commission shall have authority to permit or prohibit building within the boundary vista.")


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .