Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security Meeting Summary - Border and Transportation Security

June 5-7, 2009, Montreal, Quebec

Participants: The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and senior government officials from Public Safety and its portfolio (CSIS, RCMP, and CBSA), Justice, Citizenship and Immigration and Transport Canada participated in the dialogue with the members.

Issues of Discussion: The twelfth meeting of the Roundtable provided the participants with a comprehensive overview of the current issues facing border and transportation security in Canada. Updates were provided on the relationship between Canada and the United States in view of the new administration. Presentation were made on the new provisions of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), the eManifest Program and the role and mandate of Transport Canada. Members were briefed on proposed legislative initiatives to amend the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act. Members were also consulted on Citizenship and Immigration Canada's Biometrics Program and on the new provisions on security background checks on airport and port workers by Transport Canada.

Outcomes: Members provided advice on the issues related to the need for interconnectivity between various databases that exists for the purposes of background checks, balanced with the issue of privacy, as important considerations in developing technologies and interlinking databases. Members reminded officials of the importance of ensuring that security measures do not unfairly target ethno-cultural and religious communities when entering/exiting the country. A commitment was made to periodically update Roundtable members on the progress of the work being accomplished between Homeland Security and Public Safety on border and security issues.

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