Too close for comfort?

Critics say a proposed U.S.-Canada pact on border security could threaten Canadian sovereignty

In an effort to further coordinate border security and trade, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama have drafted an agreement entitled “Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Competitiveness.” The document proposes closer cooperation among police, security and military officials from both countries, as well as shared border management facilities and greater exchange of law enforcement information intelligence. Critics see the deal as posing a possible threat to the personal privacy of Canadians, and raising questions around Canadian sovereignty in regards to refugee and immigration policies. Spokesperson for Harper, Dimitri Soudas, said the proposed pact is a still work in progress.

Toronto Star




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Too close for comfort?

  1. The only way for Canada to survive and flourish is with closer ties to the US.

    • Look at where the American economy is heading! Do you really want Canada to emulate that!

  2. Unless your mind is clouded by hated for America, this deal makes sense. America has many faults, but no country is without its faults. This is an issue of practicality and common sense.

    • No. It's not. It's an issue of sovereignty.

      We already have laws that allow any enforcement agent to enter our country, armed, if they are in pursuit of someone who has broken their laws.

      Given the Patriot act, and the nature of the internet, it's entirely possible for Canadians to break American laws simply by writing a post critical of America, or that happens to contain details of something they decide (either before or after the fact) is vital to national security. Closer integration between our police forces is not something we need — or does the name Maher Arar mean absolutely nothing to you?

  3. I have respect for the US as Canada's largest trading partner but I think everyone should live by their own rules…

  4. My mind is not clouded with hatred for America since we are all Americans. From the north of Canada down to the southern tip of Argentina. The U.S. stole the term America because no other title would fit. As far as this proposed deal with the U.S. is concerned, I doubt very much that we will gain as much as we will lose. Someone will have to show me at least one deal where we got the upper hand. All i see are complaints from U.S. citizens on the internet regarding the security measures being taken in that country. They have gotten beyond paranoia and they are succeeding in dragging our once peaceful nation into that pit.

    • Since we are all Americans,,, You must be one of our Southern neighbours and friends, to make a statement like that…I myself was born a Canadian, raised a Canadian, and will Die a Canadian…So John, your wrong, we are all ''NOT '' Americans, I for one am a '' Canadian !'' and Damn proud of it !…………

      • TrueNorth, of course you are a proud Canadian, as I'm sure John is also. He merely points out that we are North Americans (or South Americans since he goes down to Argentina). We are Americans of the Canadian kind. Our southerly neighbours are Americans of the United Statesian kind, but as you can see, that doesn't flow well at all. It was quite brash of them to usurp the continent for their handle, but you must remember they were working with the concept of 'manifest destiny' at the time, and also–doesn't "brash" describe much about the United States?

        Similarly when we say someone is a European, it doesn't mean he isn't also a Spaniard or Italian or whatever.

        • also–doesn't "judgmental" describe much about canadian liberals?

        • Jenn, I agree with you geographically speaking, Yes I Live on the continent of North America, But I come from a Country called Canada,,just the same as our dear friends live Arizona , In the United States of America, they are Americans, I am Canadian, They say Zee (for the letter '' Z '') …we say Zed…get my drift ? I hope I do not come across as being arrogant, as that is not my intent, but I have many times over the Years had people like John (sorry John ) arrogantly tell me that there is no such thing as a Canadian because we are all Americans…. ''SIGH''….then the fight started ………

          • Oh, I know (and I hate it when Canadians say Zee!) I'm just pointing out that you are arguing over a different definition of a word. I suspect John is as proudly Canadian as I know you and I are. The only difference is that John is pushing back over this usurping of the continent's name. I'm not really pushing back so much because I would hate to have to say "United Statesian" all the time–it really doesn't roll off the tongue at all well.

            Oh, and John didn't say "there is no such thing as a Canadian" but if he ever did you have my permission (and urging) to shoot back with both barrels.

          • Whoopsie's, I will have to stand corrected on the '' there is no such thing as a Canadian " comment…. but I will have to hold you to the ''shoot back with both barrels'' thing….I am now off to clean all the spewed coffee of my computer screen as I had a mouth full of coffee when I read your comment ……..''United Statesian " Please do not ever, ever, use that term again O.K.? …….

          • Oh sure, just when it was starting to grow on me. But, okay.

  5. After seeing many other countries , including the USA, I am now a proud canadian citizen and do not wish to ever be considered an American. Keep our sovereignty.! Recent governments have allowed the sale or have given away almost all our Canadian assets, water will be next! be very afraid!

    • they already have the water , please look at the free trade agreement Mulroney in which he sold us out.

  6. All I see is people claiming a whole lot about a deal that we know nothing about.

    I'm not positing myself until I know something more.

    • You are totally right. The Star always likes to stir trouble.

  7. Critics need not be worried, Canadians are not about to take over the United States, we have enough Provinces.

  8. I've been reading about the security perimeter and all I can say is “its about time!”. Congratulations to the Conservatives for having the guts that no Liberal government would ever have. This deal will do more for our economy than anything else since NAFTA.
    Now however, the Council of Canadians and many US-haters are going to come out of the woodwork and scream bloody murder about sovereignty as John Turner did in the 1988 election. Here is the crucial part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyYjRmM7RDY
    I wonder what Turner would say today after reviewing that video clip.

  9. The government needs a way to get the vast majority on board by giving average Canadians a carrot. Here it is:
    The thing that upsets almost every Canadian is that when they go to the US, they can return with $50, $400 or $750 worth of goods depending on how long they've been away. This hasn't changed for years and years and it is ridiculous it is so low. Heaven forbid you are over by $100 and you have to go to the side, get out of your car, and line up to have a form filled in and pay $12 in tax. Ridiculous.
    As a condition of this deal, raise the exemption to $500 after 24 hours, $1000 after 48 hours and $2000 after a week and allow families to combine their exemptions. Now I'm certain that this would get people's attention! Put something in it for the average Canadian who wants to go shopping in Bellingham or Buffalo or bring back things from their winter vacation in Florida. Turn Canadian border officers from collecting tax from Canadians on underwear that they've bought in an outlet mall to enforcing security and trade laws on a grand scale.
    Do this and there will be dramatic support from the public!
    Let me know what you think.

    • You sell our country far too cheaply, in my opinion. I'm like MasterCard. My country is priceless.

      • you're a liberal. your country is worth whatever it takes to win and maintain power.

  10. I'm tired of pandering to US paranoia, and I certainly don't want to be locked in any Fortress America with them.

    There are lots of other countries to trade with, most of them far more dynamic than a dying US. It's way past time to do so.

    • All of the major parties know of no other direction to take the country in. Genuine dissent against running the Canadian economy as a parallel to the American Titanic has been de-legitimized from a relatively open debate in the 80s/90s to just "American hatred" in the 2000s.

      • We have trade talks underway with the EU, China and India…but they seem to be mostly promoted by the provinces, while the feds seem to be trying to scuttle them.

        Cons are very fond of screaming 'knee-jerk anti-Americanism' without the slightest idea of what it means….like so many of their slogans.

  11. Not sure that there is really a choice here. Are we losing some of our Canadian soul in the process? Of course we are. But as it was mentioned before, being this close to the US is both a blessing (trade) and a nightmare (security excess).

    And I do not see a way out of that. Not sure if by pushing free (er) trade with Europe, we can depend less on the US.

    • Don't look for a "way out". Consider alternatives. Once an alternative has been secured, the "way out" shows itself.
      "For 'tis a truth well known to most,
      That whatsoever thing is lost
      We seek it, ere it come to light,
      In every cranny but the right."
      - William Cowper

  12. To all the proud Canadians I can say:you talk non sense.
    Canada's economy in 100% linked to the US economy.Mulroney did a good job with FTA for Canada.I wish one day we became all US citizens,enjoying a 40% less expensive life,friendly neighbours and less
    socialist oppresive laws.

    • We've spent 2 centuries fending off the Americans, so nobody is keen on being one of them now.

      Why not just move to the US yourself, and leave the rest of us out of it?

      • I'll Second that, can we get a third ??

        • I'll third that!

    • The FTA cost us many jobs. And the US economy is in the tank. We need more separation not more binding affiliation.

  13. I think this is jeopardy to our sovereignty. Let me have freedom. I can look after my own security.

  14. When, not if, you see a U.S. Soldier on Canadian soil
    they will no doubt say they were invited by the Government
    of Canada to help protect us. Anyway, the sovereignty debate
    is over Mr. Mulrooney took care of that years ago. So, you may
    continue to call yourself Canadian but do what your told and
    do not step out of line. Remember, we are your biggest trading
    partner. We can squash you like a bug at any time. And to quote
    the Fabulous Mr. Don Cherry " put that in your pipe and smoke it
    you left wing kooks"

    • The US has lots of trade deals….that doesn't mean they've lost their sovereignty anymore than anyone else, including Canada, has.

      The US can't even 'squash' little Iraq and Afghanistan, so they have no chance with Canada.

      Be serious.

      • Your very perceptive. How did you pick up on the fact that I'm not serious?

        • You switched personas in the same para. LOL

  15. Thats the problem with multiple personalities. I'll have to
    get that checked out.

  16. So their leaks will be our leaks? We have a security perimeter, it's called the Canadian border. Laura Secord and her cow didn't walk all that way to give it up with a whimper. The US/Canada pact isn't a secret so much as it's not discussed in polite company. I think this proposed end of Confederation, deserves a much bigger headline and lots of them. http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=1

  17. Amazing that Canadians are willing to give up thier sovereignty so they can get greater access to cheaper goods.This should be an election issue. It better be an election issue.The US icans see enemies terrorists everywhere and we will be required to join in thier battles.

  18. US will have to introduce tougher security at the border (perhaps visas for Canadians?) if Canadanistan does not close border for hords islamic immigrants that bring here hate against everything what western world represents.

    • Nothing like that is happening, nor is it going to.

      As an immigrant yourself, you should be ashamed of that statement.

      • The fact that you spell "towel-head" properly but "mosque" incorrectly is indicative of your extreme ignorance.

        • Re: jonathan deleted….You never learn do you ??…there is a right way of saying things, and then there is your way…..Think man,,,,THINK .!!

          • Are you really so affraid to hear smth that is different than liberal mainstream propasganda?
            Immigration system in Canada is a big problem and deleting posts is not going to solve it. The door is wide open and uncontroled welfare-milking stream is flooding in. Whe it is too late do some changes? How far things have to get bad to make people do smth? I want to leave in Canada that respects and nourish a western culture, where common sense is not shadowed by post-Trudeupian politically correct apologetic idiocy.
            I do not want my kids in future have reason to ask me "Dad, why I can not walk on the street without scarf?" or "Why my school does not want to arrange any Christmas events anymore?"
            Got it? Think man…..THINK !!

          • Much better Jonathan, Except I don't understand what '' smth '' means ? Just asking…..

          • BTW. much better then what? …better than saying thet we do indeed have immams in mosques that call for hate against Canada and US? Is this an incomvenient truth?
            You see….thay do not hate us for that we do or what we say, they hate us for what we are!

            After many years of uncontrolled immigration flood and mulit-culti fallaout there should be no surprise
            that US is going to look closer at the the border with Canada.

          • much better than what ?…Better wording this time, that way you don't get deleted, thats what I ment….also ,what does ''smth'' mean ?..just curious..honest……..

          • "smth" = something,
            "smwh" = somewhere
            "smbd" = somebody

          • Understood……

  19. First step to normality would be stop calling "racist" or "xenophobe" folks who wants to criticize CHRC (kangaroo court that abuses real human rights).
    Then would nice to see calling of a fundamentally wrong assumption that we do need immigration no matter where it is coming from.
    Better understanding that immigration HAS to be filtered is a crucial to avoid making a Canada an international slum full of hot-head jihadists.
    Another point is to stop silly anti-Americanism broadcast over liberal medias: US is one of our biggest (if not the biggest) business partner and we should have a good relations with them.
    Finally less passivity and mediocrity in Canadian society would be a good starting point as well.
    I probably missed something.. list may be much longer.

  20. We created the Canadian border in the first place, to protect us from Americans. No one forces them to watch Rick Mercer or Little Mosque on The Prairie. We didn't have rules and restrictions like this during WW2. Is the Governor General hiding as foreigners collude to put us behind the zip lock curtain? Where is the Governor General?

  21. Our immigration board has been completely out of control for many years now so it makes sense to have our largest trading partner involved. The sanctimonious, tight-aqssed crowd won't agree but they have had their way far too long. We need rules that fosters the movement of goods AND people. A North America perimieter makes far more sense and no doubt will save both countries a ton of money, something the left could care less about.

  22. People, people do not worry. You will all be assimilated, it’s only the resistance that will hurt. In 30 years the United Nations will be in control. You will simply be the New World Order, Canada division or US division. Thanks to seemingly innocent legal precedents set here.

    Once you have Djibouti casting the tie breaking vote on what corporation will get your mineral rights and telling farmers in Sask’ what to plant, things will all be better, you will see.

  23. @Geo & Pawel
    What this is going to do is allow the banksters in the states to take control of Canada resources and flood the labour market in Canada with cheap Mexican labour to compete with China. Not only that, they are going to grope your and your wife's private parts at the airport as they do in the States. You like it pals? I don't. They pass this crap, I am out of here. I have no intention to live in a big, well "guarded" concentration camp.

  24. @Mr. Reid
    What do you mean by saying "will be"? We ARE already a part of the NWO. We don't own the land-it belongs to the Crown. We don't own surface and ground water-it also belongs to the Crown. But we all believe we are an independent country. In what sense?

  25. As an American Citizen, it's pretty clear what is going on. The US Government is annexing Canada (or at least, Canada's resources). I feel bad for you guys. If you knew what was good for you, you'd just say "no" 'cause you don't want to be tied to us when the proverbial SHTF – which it will soon…

  26. Are we now facing the impending death of Canadas cumulative sense of sovereignty. The fight is not over. I am feeling sad and confused. I love my country. Canadian will not fare better under usa rule.

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