Canada/U.S. border just got smarter

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OTTAWA, Ont. — U.S. homeland security head, Tom Ridge, wrapped up his visit to Canada yesterday by inking a “smart-border” declaration with Canadian officials.

The declaration is aimed at tightening security at the border while ensuring the free flow of goods and services continues uninterrupted.

“Public security and economic security are mutually reinforcing,” reads the document. “By working together to develop a zone of confident against terrorist activity, the U.S. and Canada create a unique opportunity to build a smart border for the 21st century.”

It was accompanied by a list of 30 points to be negotiated, which Foreign Affairs Minister, John Manley, says include many trade-offs.

“Clearly, our objective in this is to achieve a border which for travellers, for commercial traffic, is more open than it was on Sept. 10,” Manley told reporters. “It’s vitally important for our economy. That’s our objective.”

The pact indicates pre-clearance experiments underway in Sarnia will resume and the two countries will strive toward better documentation and the use of new screening technology.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance applauded news of a “smart border”.

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