Ontario pleased with Ottawa's first steps on border strategy
TORONTO, Dec. 3 /CNW/ - Economic Development and Trade Minister Bob Runciman said he was encouraged by today's announced agreement between the Canadian and U.S. governments on border security.
The agreement contains a number of measures including enhanced co- ordination of immigration, Integrated Border Enforcement Teams to cover priority areas and increased Canadian-American co-operation on the development of technology for border security.
"I applaud these measures and urge the federal government to quickly develop an integrated and comprehensive border strategy," said Runciman. "We have been working hard to bring this issue forward in recent months. It is vital to our security and economy that governments work together to arrive at a timely and effective way to address border issues."
The Coalition for Secure and Trade Efficient Borders, an organization of Canada's largest business groups, today released Rethinking Our Borders: A Plan for Action, which outlines their recommendations on security and border issues. The coalition is calling for many of the same elements as those suggested in the Ontario Industry Leaders Roundtable on Border Issues Report, released last month.
"The two reports are sending the same message to Ottawa: The federal government must develop a full border strategy that addresses the issues of security and border management. And they must do so in a way that will give Canadians and Americans confidence that border issues are being addressed head on," said Runciman.
A key element of Ontario's recommendations is the establishment of a North American security perimeter. Minister Runciman reinforced that message last Friday when he met with federal Industry Minister Brian Tobin.
"I had a productive meeting with Minister Tobin and stressed to him how strongly Ontario's business community feels about the recommendations contained in the Ontario report, particularly the perimeter concept," said Runciman.
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For further information: Contact: Minister's Office: (416) 325-6900