Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Most Canadians totally cool with Canada-US security perimeter deal

according to this G&M headline yesterday : Nearly half of Canadians oppose greater integration with U.S. law enforcement.

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 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.
In which case Maher Arar will certainly never fly from Vancouver to Kamloops again.
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.

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.
That's a whole lot of Canadian Council of Chief Executives, isn't it? 
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."


Anonymous said...

In comments below the G&M article, nearly 100% of Canadians oppose living under the US Patriot Act. :)

WV= arrested !!!

West End Bob said...

This report is not a reflection of the views of all Canadians and far be it for our headline writers to actually read the articles they are composing headlines for, eh, Alison? Good grief. Our media is rapidly mirroring that of the Excited States.

Love that Corporate Television Vehicle terminology, BTW . . . .

thwap said...


wv = "disco"

Anonymous said...

"The Customs and Immigration Union..."

I cannot believe that our Dear Leader has gotten in bed with the Unions to sell off our national sovereignty! Who will save us from this Communist information-gathering plot?

Also a consultation process better than a single web-form somewhere on a website would have been nice. Imagine if only 1/10th of a percent of EAP! advertising money had been used to start a discussion with Canadians. Imagine if anyone had tried to cover this during the Election. Imagine if the totally 100% useless EAP! ad money from the months before the election (the program had already ended) had been spent on informing about this rebranded SPP.

I wonder if the info in the Gun Registry is part of what they intend to share with the US. Do the anti-gun-registry Cons care? (No. They would like to be watered more often though...)

Alison said...

Anon : Great points! Specially on better use of EAP ad money. Of course that would ruin everything.

Remember when Ken Rubin tried to ATI Public Safety for a definition of perimeter security but was turned down because it was "a matter of cabinet confidence"?

Also last autumn, foreign affairs, industry, international trade and citizenship and immigration lined up CCCE and the Chamber of Commerce ahead of time to issue supportive talking points for when Steve & Barry anoounced their new rebranded SPP, so their uppity upbeat input here not much of a shocker.

And yeah, I've never understood why the Canadian gov collecting personal info via the census and gun registry was OMFG! to the potted plants, but sending same info to Homeland Security is merely meh.

Bob : 'Corporate Television Vehicle' first coined by PSA/Lindsay Stewart some years back I think. Good, isn't it?

Thwap : "We are going to another disco, disco after disco ...."

Anonymous said...

no need to comment except for exceptional WV:

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