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Secret Canada-US perimeter security plans leaked

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Uploaded on Dec 16, 2010

he Council of Canadians is demanding that the Harper government immediately release its secret perimeter security deal with the United States, as well as its communications strategy for the deal that names Council chairperson Maude Barlow as a likely critic.

"Canadians have a right to know the security deal Mr. Harper has been secretly negotiating with the United States," says Barlow. "Harmonization, collaboration and information-sharing with the Department of Homeland Security to promote his trade agenda obviously raises sovereignty and privacy concerns."

Media reports suggest that under the perimeter security deal Canada and the US would harmonize rules and practices for screening offshore imports and travellers, and more closely collaborate in the areas of immigration, border protection and law enforcement. It would also involve more information-sharing with US law-enforcement agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security.

"We've gone down this road before -- it was called the Security and Prosperity Partnership -- and North Americans rejected it," says Stuart Trew, trade campaigner with the Council of Canadians.

Though the Security and Prosperity Partnership stalled in 2008, news reports said the Harper government would continue to meet with the Canadian business members of the North American Competitiveness Council. "It appears that yet again Harper is only listening to corporate lobbyists on North American climate, energy, security and economic policy when Canadians clearly oppose this agenda," adds Barlow.

"From the Harper government's hastily passed Anti-Terrorism Act to the controversial 'no-fly' list, harmonization has violated civil liberties while not improving trade between Canada and the United States in the slightest," notes Trew.

The organization is also demanding that opposition parties press the government on this unnecessary and invasive perimeter plan.

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