Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville and Senator Bob Runciman, Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, today applauded the Harper government’s efforts on the new border action plans signed in Washington this afternoon.
Ottawa - December 8, 2011 - Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville and Senator Bob Runciman, Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, today applauded the Harper government’s efforts on the new border action plans signed in Washington this afternoon.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US President Barack Obama signed joint action plans that will boost security, trade and travel.
“These action plans, when they are finalized, will add more security to our countries while at the same time enhancing trade and travel across our borders,” said Brown. “It will ensure that our economies can continue to grow while protecting our citizens.”
“This concept of a North American security perimeter is one that was actively advocated for by the Harris and Eves governments and consistently rejected by the federal Liberal government. It’s a great initiative and I applaud the prime minister,” said Runciman.
“The need for a smart, secure, efficient border is critical to Leeds-Grenville. Not only do we want to facilitate the movement of people, but it is essential that local industries, many of whom export their products to the U.S., not face a bottle-neck at the bridge,” Runciman added.
“Billions of dollars worth of goods and hundreds of thousands of people cross our shared border every day,” said Prime Minister Harper in a release. “Moving security to the perimeter of our continent will transform our border and create jobs and growth in Canada by improving the flow of goods and people between our two countries.”
The Action Plan on Perimeter Security and Economic Competiveness focuses on four areas of cooperation: addressing threats early; facilitating trade, economic growth and jobs; integrating cross-border law enforcement; and improving critical infrastructure and cyber-security.
“We are pursuing an ambitious global trade agenda, while at the same time ensuring enhanced access to the United States, our largest and most important trading partner,” said the Prime Minister. “Together, these agreements represent the most significant step forward in Canada-U.S. cooperation since the North American Free Trade Agreement.”
The Action Plan on Regulatory Cooperation will help reduce barriers to trade, lower costs for consumers and business, and create economic opportunities on both sides of the border. It identifies 29 initiatives where Canada and the U.S. will align their regulatory approaches in the areas of agriculture and food, transportation, health and personal care products, chemical management, the environment, and other cross-sectoral areas, while not compromising our health, safety or environmental protection standards.
“This Action Plan on Regulatory Cooperation will break down regulatory barriers and will make it easier for our firms and manufacturers to do business on both sides of the border,” added the Prime Minister.
The two action plans respect the sovereignty of both countries and specify they will work together to promote the principles of human rights, privacy and civil liberty essential to the rule of law and the effective management of our perimeter.
As the action plans are implemented, the Government will consult with Parliament and Canadians and keep them informed of progress.
Detailed backgrounders on each area of cooperation and what the initiatives will mean are available at www.borderactionplan.gc.ca.