It used to be quite rare and even noteworthy when foreign military training and operations took place on Canadian soil, which is now included in the U.S. “homeland.”
WHEN the Harper government was introducing arrangements to make permanent the operation of U.S. security forces in Canada, they knew Canadians would be opposed. In hearings into the Shiprider program which has U.S. border agents enforcing Canadian law on Canadian seaways, RCMP Chief Superintendent Joe Oliver, the Mounties’ director general for border integrity, stated: “We recognized early that this approach would raise concerns about sovereignty, of privacy, and civil liberties of Canadians. We said ‘Let’s take baby steps, let’s start with two agencies to test the concept, let’s demonstrate to Canadians and Americans that such an approach might work.” These “baby steps” are taken on a regular basis to keep Canadians unaware of the extent to which the Harper government has placed Canada under U.S. command.
From September 13-15, the RCMP’s maritime unit in Kingston, Ontario and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) station in Alexandria Bay, New York, conducted a “joint law enforcement patrol along St. Lawrence Seaway.” The operation is part of the Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations (ICMLEO) known as Shiprider, made permanent through the Harper government’s first omnibus budget bill, Bill C-38.
The government announced that as a result of the three-day operations, several vessels were stopped and boarded by specially trained and designated members of the RCMP and USCG. This means that Canadian vessels in the Great Lakes were stopped by U.S. Coast Guard agents, in Canadian waters. The U.S. Coast Guard is fully militarized in the U.S., meaning that they come under the command of U.S. Northern Command and NORAD.
The government presents this dangerous development as a way to fight crime:
“Cross-border crime is a two-way challenge that has implications for both Canadian and U.S. citizens. Shiprider removes jurisdictional road blocks associated with an international border. It allows specially trained and cross-designated Canadian and U.S. law enforcement to work side by side while under the direct supervision of the host country officer.”
Why such an arrangement is needed when the border has been shared since before and after the war of 1812 without such arrangements is not addressed in any of the government’s promotion of such anti-national projects. The fundamentally seditious nature of the Harper government’s actions – the placement of foreign troops in Canadian territory – are covered up by presenting these regulatory changes as a mechanism to “improve mutual security.”
“Based on the principles of shared border management and effective law enforcement, Shiprider operations respect the sovereignty of both Canada and the United States,” said RCMP Assistant Commissioner Todd Shean. “Shiprider operations are a tool that improves our mutual security in our shared waterways.”
“Coast Guard Sector Buffalo is excited to work with RCMP Kingston to strengthen our partnerships and enhance maritime security on our shared waterways,” said Lt. Rianne Troutman, chief of enforcement at Sector Buffalo, Station Alexandria Bay’s parent command.
TML Weekly Information Project, September 28, 2013 – No. 38