OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 14, 2013) - The Honourable Vic Toews, Canada's Minister of Public Safety, and Janet Napolitano, the United States Secretary of Homeland Security, met in Washington today to advance cooperation that will further strengthen security at the Canada-U.S. border, while facilitating the legitimate flow of goods and people.
In addition to signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that paves the way for a United States Customs and Border Protection truck cargo pre-inspection pilot project on Canadian soil, the Minister and Secretary discussed other key priority action items of the Beyond the Border (BTB) Action Plan. These items included integrated cargo security initiatives, countering violent extremism and the entry/exit system.
With the establishment of an entry/exit system, the record of entry into one country is shared and would become the record of exit from the other country. Integrated cargo addresses risks with shipments arriving from offshore, with an aim to identify and resolve security and contraband concerns as early as possible in the supply chain.
"Canada and the U.S. share a vision for a secure North America and we are committed to enhancing our security and economic prosperity by continued collaboration on ways to strengthen our shared border," said Minister Toews. "I am pleased to see continued progress on the implementation of the Beyond the Border Action Plan and welcome opportunities like today to meet with my colleagues in the United States."
The Minister and the U.S. Secretary also discussed how Public Safety Canada and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security could further strengthen collaboration in third countries to address common threats to the perimeter.
Minister Toews was also pleased to have the opportunity to meet with key US officials including Rep. Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security; Rep. Patrick Meehan, member of the Homeland Security Committee, on which he chairs the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies; Yvette Clark, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security; and Lisa Monaco, Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.
Minister Toews took the opportunity to highlight the importance of the Keystone XL pipeline, which will create thousands of jobs on both sides of the border while improving the energy security of North America. Canada has aligned its goals on greenhouse gas emissions with the United States, committing to a 17% reduction below 2005 levels by 2020. Canada is already half way towards meeting its target.
For more information, please visit the website www.publicsafety.gc.ca.
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