Canada’s further integration into U.S. Homeland Security

ON DECEMBER 19 the Executive Committee of the Beyond the Border Action Plan made up of officials from the executives of the U.S. and Canada released its second report on how it is implementing the Beyond the Border Action Plan signed in 2011. This year’s report outlines pilot projects which place Canada’s security apparatus under U.S. command and control, in particular at key ports. Also highlighted are ongoing steps to hand over vast amounts of information to U.S. officials on who is travelling to and from Canada. Already there are reports that more Canadians are being harassed at entry to the United States on the basis of private information about their mental health taken “legally” from Canadian databases. There is also an increase in the number of unmanned drones flying in Canadian civilian airspace through the implementation of the Beyond the Border Action Plan.

“Key accomplishments” over the last year include:

– “Deployment of joint Entry/Exit program at the common land border whereby the record of entry into one country is shared and becomes the record of exit from the other country for third-country nationals (those who are neither citizens of Canada nor of the United States), permanent residents of Canada who are not U.S. citizens, and lawful permanent residents of the United States who are not Canadian citizens, thereby enhancing the integrity of our immigration systems; …

– “Enhanced the administration and enforcement … of respective immigration laws by signing an agreement for the sharing of visa and immigration information on third-country nationals; …

– “Deployed Shiprider teams to provide cross-border continuity of law enforcement operations in shared waterways in British Columbia/Washington State and Ontario/Michigan, and conductedShiprider surge operations at other locations in the Great Lakes and Atlantic regions;

– “Initiated binational radio interoperability between Canadian and U.S. law enforcement personnel in British Columbia/Washington State and Ontario/Michigan; the technology permits law enforcement on both sides of the border to coordinate binational investigations and timely responses to border incidents, while improving both officer and public safety;

– “Conducted the first ever cross-border Regional Resilience Assessment Program project in the New Brunswick-Maine region to improve the security and resilience of our shared critical infrastructure; …

– “Strengthened cyber incident management coordination between Canada and the United States and enhanced private sector engagement and public awareness on cybersecurity; …

– “Increased membership in the nexus trusted traveller program to more than 917,000, an increase of approximately 50% since the Beyond the Border Action Plan was announced; …

– “Successfully implemented Phase I of the truck cargo pre-inspection pilot at Pacific Highway in Surrey, British Columbia (adjacent to Blaine, Washington) in which U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers pre-inspected approximately 3,500 U.S.-bound commercial trucks;

– “Began preparations for Phase II of the truck cargo pre-inspection pilot, with an anticipated deployment in January 2014 in Fort Erie, Ontario (adjacent to Buffalo, New York), to test the feasibility of reducing wait times and border congestion by conducting U.S. primary inspection of U.S.-bound commercial trucks in Canada;

– “Publicly released an Integrated Cargo Security Strategy” to address “risks associated with maritime shipments arriving from offshore, and undertook pilot projects at Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Montreal, Quebec, and in the pre-load air cargo environment to validate and shape the implementation of the strategy; …

– “Increased and harmonized the threshold value for low-value commercial shipments, reducing transaction costs for industry by millions of dollars each year; [and]

– “Released the first joint Border Infrastructure Investment Plan to ensure a mutual understanding of recent, ongoing and planned border infrastructure improvements and confirmed Canada’s immediate investment plans at key border crossings.”

TML Weekly Information Project, December 28, 2013 – No. 51

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