The headline refers to the Harper government release yesterday of its summary of the government website public consultation process about Steve and Barry's deep integration deal known as Beyond the Border: a shared vision for perimeter security and economic competitiveness.
"Nearly half of Canadians oppose " ?
So turning that headline around : more than half of Canadians approve of security integration with the US?
How many actual Canadians are we talking about here, G&M?
500 according to the gov report. More than 1,000 Canadians submitted their thoughts to the government website set up to "consult with Canadians" on how much sovereignty and privacy they are willing to trade off for greater access to US markets.
Also included were representatives from the provinces; business groups like the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, think tanks, unions, academics, First Nations, and corporations like Imperial Tobacco and Bombardier.
Other media coverage :
Canadian Chamber of Commerce president Perrin Beatty told the Toronto Star today in : Upcoming Harper-Obama talks last, best hope to slow post-9/11 border chokehold :
"We have to ask ourselves: What is the reason for the government presence along the 49th parallel at this stage in the 21st century?"Corporate Television Vehicle confined their coverage on "consultations with Canadians" to an interview with Foreign Affairs Min John Baird in Cross-border policing concerns some Canadians: report.
Baird explained why we need this deal : "Jobs, jobs, jobs."
When the news anchor asked what other issues besides jobs came up, Baird replied : "Jobs, jobs, jobs."
Also : "Jobs."
Toronto Sun : Calls for a freer border
Ok, so you get the idea on media coverage.
So what's it say about deeper security integration in the actual report?
What Canadians told us: A Summary on Consultations on Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness
The bulk of submissions on information sharing came from the National Airlines Council of Canada, the tourism associations of the United States and Canada, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and the Air Transport Association of Canada. They recommended that Canada and the United States align their advanced passenger-screening programs and also recommended that this process include the sharing of passenger data. The Customs and Immigration Union, whose members work at Canada's borders, as well as inland, recommended that joint Canada-United States information databases be made available to border personnel and be used to support enhanced screening at Canada's points of entry.In which case Maher Arar will certainly never fly from Vancouver to Kamloops again.
In support of expediting border crossing times, it was suggested that advanced passenger-screening programs be expanded to common carriers on land such as buses and trains. The Air Transport Association of Canada proposed merging Canada's Passenger Protect Program with the United States' Secure Flight program into a single North American “no-fly” list as a way to standardize the application of such lists within the North American perimeter.
Submissions from individuals who supported information sharing ... A small number of those making submissions indicated a belief that Canada's immigration and refugee practices were lax and therefore a threat to national security, and proposed the integration of these policies with those of the United States.
Biometrics are methods of identifying people based on physical traits, such as fingerprint analysis; facial recognition; DNA, palm print or hand geometry analysis; and retina or iris recognition. While there was not a significant amount of input relating to biometrics, those organizations that did comment on this topic supported using biometrics.
The Customs and Immigration Union called for the deployment of an enhanced lookout system with face recognition biometric technology. The Canadian Council of Chief Executives, a national association of business leaders, called for Canada and the United States to work to accelerate international efforts toward the adoption of common global standards for biometric data. In their joint submission, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and the U.S. Travel Association called for the collection of biometric data for travellers from key emerging markets such as Brazil, India, China, Russia and Mexico.That's a whole lot of Canadian Council of Chief Executives, isn't it?
The Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Customs and Immigration Union ... called for the expansion of existing intelligence sharing and law enforcement partnerships. The Canadian Council of Chief Executives also suggested that joint law enforcement programs be introduced on land with a similar mandate.
Deepening Canada-United States Collaboration on Cyber-Security Matters
The Canadian Council of Chief Executives recognized the current success of collaboration efforts with the United States on these issues and called for a binational cyberspace defence strategy developed in collaboration with the private sector and end-users in both countries. They noted that such initiatives should include information technology suppliers and end users, all of whom share responsibility for preventing, responding to and recovering from physical and cyber disruptions of critical infrastructure.
As CCCE President John Manley put it in December :
"The real question will be what do we get at the border in exchange for greater co-ordination on security."Fuck all so far, John, no matter how much sovereignty and privacy we give up.
Final note to Globe &Mail headline writers. From the report :
"Moving forward, it is important to keep in mind that the results of the consultation described in this report are a reflection solely of the views of those who provided input. This report is not a reflection of the views of all Canadians and is not intended to be representative of all views on these issues.".