Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

November 27, 2009 13:06 ET

Government of Canada Introduces Legislation to Fight Cross-Border Crime in Shared Waterways

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 27, 2009) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada on behalf of the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety, today introduced in the House of Commons legislation to implement the Canada-U.S. Framework Agreement on Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations, also known as "Shiprider". The Keeping Canadians Safe (Protecting Borders) Act will strengthen cooperative bilateral policing efforts to stem the flow of cross-border criminal activity in shared waterways and further protect community safety and security in Canada.

"This Government is committed to increasing security and enhancing our economic prosperity," said Minister Van Loan. "These changes would provide Canadian and U.S. law enforcement with the tools necessary to prevent organized crime across our shared border. This demonstrates our firm commitment to working with the Obama Administration to send a message to criminals that the illegal smuggling of guns and drugs between our countries will not be tolerated."

The coming to force of this legislation will permit specially designated Canadian and American law enforcement personnel to jointly work on marine law enforcement vessels in boundary waters, such as the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, and off both east and west coasts. Working together, these officers will be authorized to enforce the law on both sides of the border to help ensure that criminal organizations no longer exploit shared waterways.

"This proposed legislation is a new approach to border law enforcement," said Minister Nicholson. "With its accompanying regulatory changes, the proposed legislation provides a proper legal framework and ensures effective integrated law enforcement operations can occur in boundary waters."

"The coming into force of this legislation will strengthen North American security, facilitate legitimate trade and help domestic economic growth," said the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The Framework Agreement on integrated law enforcement operations in boundary waters with the U.S. was signed in May 2009, by Minister Van Loan and Janet Napolitano, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.

For more information, please visit the website www.publicsafety.gc.ca

Announcement of Framework Agreement http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/media/nr/2009/nr20090526-eng.aspx?rss=true

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