Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

May 27, 2009 17:43 ET

CORRECTION FROM SOURCE: Van Loan and Napolitano Successfully Conclude Their First High-Level Border Meeting

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 27, 2009) - A correction from source is issued with respect to the news release that was disseminated today at 4:21PM EDT. The change is located in the first sentence of the fifth paragraph. The corrected release follows:

Minister Van Loan made the following statement after the meeting with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The twice yearly meetings are a major positive step forward for Canada to strengthen relations with the U.S. and create opportunities for both countries to facilitate trade, jobs, and economic growth while improving security at the border.

"I am delighted to announce that Secretary Napolitano and I have moved forward with measures which mark the improving nature of our relationship. One advances the principles-agreed at our meeting in Washington in March-of seeking opportunities for co-operation and sharing resources, and increasing security without limiting trade across the border. Another measure is a commitment to work jointly in assessing the risks and threats at our common border.

The Shiprider Agreement, which we signed yesterday in Detroit, will help both countries work together to combat organized crime in shared waterways. With vessels jointly staffed by law enforcement personnel from both countries, Shiprider will allow more effective and efficient policing of our maritime shared border. No longer will criminals be able to take advantage of legal water boundaries to escape the long arm of the law. Shiprider will strengthen our ability to deter, detect, and combat cross-border crime, such as the smuggling and trafficking of illegal drugs, tobacco, guns and people. We are joining together with the United States to create a safer, more secure, and more efficient border to enhance the safety and security of our citizens as well as the North American economy.

Secretary Napolitano and I also agreed to a Framework for the Movement of People and Goods across the border during and following an emergency. This framework will help ensure that first responders will not be delayed at the border when emergency assistance is needed in either country. Furthermore, if the border is closed for whatever reason, it will return to normal operations as quickly as possible.

These measures are a sign of the growing positive relationship that we are building with the United States, with whom we share security and trade interests. They also stand as clear evidence that we can enhance security and improve the flow of people and goods across the border at the same time. Those who say there is a trade-off - that you cannot improve security without harming trade - are simply wrong.

A significant step forward was a further commitment of both countries to work together. We agreed to develop a joint threat and risk assessment regarding the Canada-U.S. border. This is something long called for by those with strong interests in trade across our borders.

It's been called for by security advocates. It will build trust and co-operation between our countries. It will help us focus resources where they are needed most - on real threats. It is a very positive step forward, illustrating a new era of improving shared management of our border.

A further topic discussed was the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. Citizens of both countries are reminded of the need to have a passport or other compliant document to cross the U.S. border starting June 1.

In addition, we have issued a joint statement which reflects our shared commitment to strengthen border cooperation. This will help guide our future discussions. The United States and Canada will continue to work together to practice the good governance of our shared border.

A commitment to work together has been marked by deeds-and followed by further commitments to work together towards a safe and secure border. This makes common sense. We share a common interest in facilitating trade and the economic prosperity it brings both our countries. We share a common interest as friends, neighbours and allies in co-operating and sharing resources to more efficiently and effectively improve our security and trade."

To access an online version of the joint statement, visit http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/media/nr/2009/nr20090527-eng.aspx?rss=false

To access an online version of the Canada-United States Framework for the Movement of Goods and People Across the Border During and Following an Emergency, visit http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/media/nr/2009/nr20090527-1-eng.aspx

For further information about WHTI travel document requirements for entry into the United States as of June 1, 2009, visit http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/whti-ivho/menu-eng.html

Contact Information

  • Public Safety Canada
    Media Relations
    613-991-0657