Minister Baird Marks Next Step in Making Trade and Travel over Canada-U.S. Border Easier

(No. 249 - August 29, 2011 - 2:15 p.m. ET) Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today delivered on a pledge to Canadians to release two reports summarizing consultations on the Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness.

"Canadians recently gave our government a strong mandate to focus on the economy and secure Canada's recovery," said Minister Baird. "Speeding up legitimate trade and travel between Canada and the U.S. is important in that regard, and I want to thank people who took the time to provide us with so much thoughtful input."

The reports summarize public input received on two important issues: regulatory cooperation between the two countries and security and trade across the shared border.

In total, the Government of Canada received input from more than 1,000 Canadians and almost 200 submissions from groups and organizations, including business groups, provinces and territories, municipalities, organized labour, civil society groups, academics and think tanks. Both sets of consultations were conducted in spring and summer 2011.

"These are important issues for Canada and Canadians, and the response we received certainly reflects that," said Minister Baird. "This feedback will help ensure Canada's interests are protected as we move forward." 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama announced the Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness and the creation of a Regulatory Cooperation Council on February 4, 2011. Senior officials from both countries are currently in discussions to develop joint action plans for the shared border vision and the Regulatory Cooperation Council. Both plans are expected to be released in the near future once details are finalized.

The consultation summary reports and further information on the Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness are available online at Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI