Business Friendly Borders: anti-terrorism, security and efficiency
July 20, 2015 Vancouver, British Columbia Public Safety Canada
Today, the Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, delivered a keynote speech to the Vancouver Board of Trade that focused on the ties between a strong economy and national security.
The Minister described the economic impacts of disasters and threats, both man-made and natural, such as the ongoing wildfires in western Canada, recent bomb threats to airlines and the prevalent threat of jihadi terrorism.
Minister Blaney also spoke of the measures the Harper Government has taken to address such issues and how those measures work not only to protect communities but also to help sustain a healthy national economy. The recent Preclearance agreement signed with the United States builds on other Beyond the Border Action Plan activities that facilitate the movement of goods and people while maintaining secure borders. Close to $1.4 billion has been invested in Asia-Pacific Gateway projects, in partnership with the four western provinces as well as with municipalities, transportation authorities and the private sector, for a total value of approximately $3.5 billion. The Harper Government has passed several pieces of anti-terrorism legislation, including the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, that address terrorist travel and the work done abroad by our police forces that will lead to greater safety and security for Canadians and our allies.
- Port Metro Vancouver processes $172 billion in trade goods each year.
- In March 2015, Canada and the U.S. signed the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine and Air Transport Preclearance between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America.
- Once ratified, the Preclearance agreement will provide the necessary authorities for Canada and the U.S. to expand preclearance in the land, rail and marine modes.
- In June 2015, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a $312.6 million commitment over five years to extend Canada’s current biometric screening measures to include all foreign travellers who require a visa to enter Canada.
- In June 2015, the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, received Royal Assent. Its provisions include measures to address terrorist travel.
“National security and economic stability are two sides of the same coin and two of the Harper Government’s key priorities. As Vancouver is home to Canada’s largest port, a strong and effective border is extremely important to its citizens and to all Canadians.”
- The Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness