On Tuesday, Vic Toews, Canada’s Public Safety Minister, met with his U.S. counterpart, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, to continue a dialogue on developing a shared vision for addressing border and security issues of mutual concern that will continue to support safety, competitiveness and job creation.
The safety and security of Canadians is a top priority for our Conservative Government. Under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and with help from our Economic Action Plan, Canada is emerging from the global economic recession. But our recovery remains fragile. With over $2 billion in trade flowing between our countries every day, it is critical that the Canada-U.S. border remain open, strong and competitive for businesses and travellers to help stimulate our economy.
Canada and the United States have a long tradition of cooperating with one another. We are proud of our joint effort to combat national and economic security threats, without limiting trade across our shared border. As a result of Tuesday’s successful Canada-U.S. bilateral meetings, three key initiatives were launched:
- The Canada-U.S. Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure, which will enable both countries to more effectively protect vital assets and systems such as electricity grids, transportation networks, financial systems and telecommunications that are the backbone of our economy, our security, our health and our way of life. We must ensure that Canada’s vital assets and systems are protected, and continue to be there when Canadians need them.
- New U.S. Child Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking Measures: The U.S. will join a Canadian effort through the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to further assist the Haitian National Police to prevent child human trafficking in Haiti post earthquake; and,
- New Measures to Aid Cross Border Currency Seizure: Both Canada and the U.S. will enter a Memorandum of Understanding that will assist in money-laundering and terrorist-financing investigations and prosecutions.
Canadians from coast to coast to coast win from increased national safety and protection. Tuesday’s initiatives will also benefit businesses and commerce, as well as Canadian travelers and tourists to our great country.