Feds Must Reveal if U.S. Law Enforcement Will Operate on Canadian Soil
Government negotiating to allow FBI and other US agencies to operate in Canada
June 1, 2012
OTTAWA - The Harper Government must come clean on exactly what is being negotiated as part of a secretive Canada-US perimeter security deal, says MP Bruce Hyer (Thunder Bay-Superior North).
“Top Mounties have revealed that this government intends to allow US law enforcement officers to operate on Canadian soil. Is the Minister actually planning to allow this, as part of a Conservative security deal?” asked Hyer during Question Period Friday. “Would it include the FBI? Drug Enforcement Agency? US Immigration? Will the Minister table any draft agreement in this House, so that this deal gets the scrutiny it deserves?”
Testimony in May by RCMP Chief Superintendent Joe Oliver at the Senate Standing Committee on National Security & Defence indicated that the federal government intends to build on the ‘Shiprider’ program, already in effect on Canadian waters, by allowing US agents to perform law enforcement duties on land in Canada. Little is known about the details of the agreement being negotiated but, according to reports, Canadians could see US agents take part in a pilot project in Canada as early as this summer. Ariel surveillance by US drones in Canada are also said to be part of the agreement.
“If what we’re hearing is true, the ramifications of this agreement on Canadian sovereignty and the enforcement of Canadian laws could be both significant and long-lasting. It’s worrisome.” stated Hyer. “I am surprised that more attention has not been paid to this in the House of Commons. This is too important to be negotiated and signed in a dark back room somewhere in Washington. Canadians need to see exactly what the government is doing, and any potential deal of this magnitude must be brought before Parliament for examination and approval.”
In the House, Candice Hoeppner, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, responded to Hyer by saying “Canadians and Americans share common security issues as well as economic interests […] we must protect and strengthen our relationship, including our security relationship with the United States. There is more work to be done. Canadians can count on our government to get it done.”
Hyer noted that “While it appears this agreement was originally intended to allow law enforcement agents to cross the border while in direct pursuit of suspects, it appears the scope has expanded and it is unclear whether this is still the case. Will US authorities be arresting people in Canada days, weeks, or years later? Or arresting people who have never even been to the US? Too many details remain unknown.”
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Bruce Hyer, MP
House of Commons