WHTI delayed until June 2009

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), requiring travellers to carry a passport when crossing into the US, has been delayed.

Implementation of the controversial plan will not take place before June, 2009 after the US House of Representatives voted to prohibit implementation of the policy before that date. Rep. Louise Slaughter has led the charge against the law south of the border, insisting it would hinder trade and tourism between Canada and the US.

She said the government will continue to look at ways drivers licences could be used to meet WHTI requirements.

After over two and a half years of fighting against WHTI, I am pleased to see that Congress overwhelmingly rebuked the Administration today by delaying the implementation of the flawed program until mid-2009, Slaughter announced. We sent a clear signal that we dont trust the Administration to get WHTI done right.

Travel and trade which cross the northern border every day between America and Canada are critical to our economy and to northern economic security, and we must never sacrifice our relationship with Canada in a misguided attempt to increase border security, she added. I have long said that economic security and physical security are not mutually exclusive. We can, and must, have both.

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