Canada Contributes $1.5 Million to Strengthen Aviation Security

(No. 16 – January 14, 2010 – 3:00 p.m. EST) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable John Baird, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, have announced that Canada will contribute $1.5 million over three years to strengthen the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO's) Aviation Security Plan of Action.

"As we were sharply reminded on Christmas Day, improvements to international aviation security have a direct impact on the security of Canadians at home and abroad," said Minister Cannon.

"This contribution is an indication of the Government of Canada's strong commitment to enhance aviation security systems within Canada, and to facilitate similar improvements in the aviation security of Canada's international partners," said Minister Cannon.

The Aviation Security Plan of Action is a global effort in which Canada, along with other partners, supports ICAO's efforts to build aviation security capacity in those countries where it is most needed.

"The safety and security of Canadians are of the utmost importance to our government," said Minister Baird. "This investment in ICAO, the international forum for civil aviation, will help support enhancements to global civil aviation security."

This contribution comes in the wake of the failed Northwest Airlines bomb plot of December 25, and is the latest in a long standing series of Canadian capacity building contributions to ICAO's aviation security program.

"Aviation security is a global problem that requires global solutions," said ICAO Council President Roberto Kobeh González. "ICAO works to ensure that security threats are addressed in the most effective and efficient manner possible, and that the responses are implemented with the highest degree of harmonization worldwide. We are grateful to Canada for its contribution, as it will extend our ability to support security activities where there is the greatest need."

The $1.5 million contribution will be made through the government's Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program, which is managed by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada on behalf of the Government of Canada's security community.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874