WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of a seven-member group of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, Parry Sound-Muskoka MP, Tony Clement, is in Washington D.C. this week as part of the committee’s study of Canada’s National Security Framework.
“Along with my Liberal and NDP colleagues on the committee, we have held several meetings gaining insight into the long-standing and complex international relationship between Canada and the US on issues of national security, border control and transportation security,” said MP Clement.
The committee has also been gathering information from Canadians on the national security framework to provide recommendations to the House of Commons. The ultimate goal is to ensure that Canada’s law enforcement and national security agencies are effective and efficient.
“Protecting Canadians and our borders is the number one job of the federal government, and a key part of this undertaking is making sure law enforcement and our national security apparatus have the tools at their disposal to do this effectively,” said Clement.
Meetings during the Washington trip included Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA) Northern Border Caucus; Travis Krogman, Senior Legislative Assistant for Congresswoman Anne McLane Kuster (D-NH) Northern Border Caucus; Congressman Daniel Kildee (D-MI) Northern Border Caucus; Rebecca Ulrich, Senior Professional Staff, Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere; representatives from the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection. The group also toured NASA`s national headquarters and command centre.
While in Washington, the Committee is seeking to obtain information on the following topics:
• National security: Terrorism threats, cybersecurity, intelligence gathering, information sharing and oversight of national security activities and agencies.
• Border control: Issues relating to security and economic competitiveness defined by a common border including the flow of goods and people, reciprocal preclearance powers and obligations imposed by Bill C-23 (Preclearance Act, 2016) and the ratification of the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America.
• The implementation of the Entry/Exit Initiative. On 10 March 2016, both countries reiterated their commitment to a system that would allow the exchange of basic biographical information at the border. If enacted, Bill C-21, An Act to amend the Customs Act (Bill C-21), would authorize the collection of personal information on all persons who are leaving or have left Canada. The entry information would thus serve to verify exit from the other country.
• Transportation security: Discussion on the administration of the U.S. no-fly list and the “Specified Persons List” created under the Secure Air Travel Act, including problems with false positive name matches.