(Public Safety Canada)
Canada’s Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews, and the United States Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, met in Montreal, Quebec yesterday to discuss border security and cross-border trade.
Yesterday’s meeting was an opportunity to take stock of the work being done to advance the joint Beyond the Border Action Plan: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, which was announced by Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and the President of the United States, Barack Obama, on December 7th, 2011.
There has been substantial progress on numerous border initiatives outlined in the Beyond the Border Action Plan. For example, the three-year residency requirement for the NEXUS program was amended and new technology to reduce border wait times was launched.
“We are working closely and effectively with our U.S. partners to strengthen trade ties and ensure that our shared border remains open to legitimate businesses and travellers,” said Minister Toews. “The collaboration between Canada and the U.S. continues to strengthen the security and economy of both our nations.”
“Our countries have made significant progress in implementing the initiatives of the Beyond the Border Action Plan,” said Secretary Napolitano. “We will continue to work together to move the plan forward-further enhancing the economic and national security of both of our nations.”
Minister Toews and Secretary Napolitano also discussed ongoing work to improve bilateral information sharing for national security purposes while respecting each country’s constitutional and legal frameworks – a commitment made in the Beyond the Border Action Plan.
During their meeting, they reflected on the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and the importance of ongoing bilateral cooperation to combat common threats against Canada and the U.S.