Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

March 19, 2008 12:45 ET

Government of Canada Takes Action During Cross-Border Crime Forum to Prevent Crimes in Shared Waterways

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 19, 2008) - The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, and the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, highlighted the importance of continued cooperation with the U.S. at the 10th Canada -U.S. Cross-Border Crime Forum (CBCF) with the announcement of a new initiative for marine security in shared waterways.

The CBCF is an important venue that allows Canadian and U.S. law enforcement agencies to discuss and address cross-border crime issues, such as organized crime, drug trafficking, mass marketing fraud, human smuggling, and terrorism.

"This Forum is testimony to the tremendous cooperation and respect that has developed between law enforcement agencies in both countries," said Minister Day. "We are working hard every day to ensure the secure and efficient flow of legitimate people and goods. We are also working hard - and cooperating with our U.S. counterparts - to stop criminals and terrorists from using the border to their advantage."

During the CBCF, it was agreed that one of the major successes of joint cooperation between Canada and the U.S. has been the Shiprider pilot projects. In September 2005 and again in August and September 2007, Canadian RCMP officers and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) officers started operating together on jointly crewed vessels in shared waterways.

During this most recent pilot project, which took place in the St. Lawrence Seaway near Cornwall and in the Strait of Georgia between British Columbia and Washington State, Shiprider officers boarded 187 vessels. In 39 separate incidents, Shiprider teams contributed to 41 arrests, with six of these being made directly by the integrated marine teams.

"The Shiprider pilot projects are an excellent example of our joint efforts to tackle cross-border crime," said Minister Day. "In keeping with this theme, it gives me great pleasure to announce today that our countries will begin negotiating a framework to govern the conduct of joint cross-border maritime law enforcement operations in shared waterways along the Canada-USA border."

Once signed, the framework agreement will enable the RCMP and the USCG to undertake Shiprider operations in shared waterways to enhance border integrity and the effectiveness of law enforcement.

"The Government of Canada has made the security of our people, and the safety of our streets and communities, a priority," said Minister Nicholson. "Together, Canadian and U.S. efforts are helping to ensure that our shared border and waterways are closed to criminal organizations and their activities, but open for legitimate travel and trade."

Minister Nicholson added that the Forum is an excellent vehicle which, over the years has been instrumental in the development of concrete initiatives and joint threat assessments and action plans to fight cross-border crime.

This year the CBCF released threat assessments on drugs and the Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETS); and a five-year report on mass marketing fraud. The Forum has also released public advisories to alert and inform the public on cross-border criminal activities. This year the public advisory is an update on scams involving counterfeit cheques and is published to assist citizens in protecting themselves against
this type of crime.

For further information www.ps-sp.gc.ca or www.usdoj.gov.

Contact Information

  • Public Safety Canada
    Media Relations
    613-991-0657
    or
    Office of the Honourable Stockwell Day
    Minister of Public Safety
    Melisa Leclerc
    Director of Communications
    613-991-2863
    or
    Department of Justice Canada
    Media Relations
    613-957-4207
    or
    Office of the Minister of Justice
    Darren Eke
    Press Secretary
    613-992-4621