Justice minister Rob Nicholson, on behalf of Public Safety minister Peter Van Loan, on Friday introduced in the House of Commons legislation to implement the Canada-U.S. Framework Agreement on Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations, also known as “Shiprider.”
The Keeping Canadians Safe (Protecting Borders) Act will strengthen co-operative bilateral policing efforts to stem the flow of cross-border criminal activity in shared waterways, and further protect community safety and security in Canada.
“This government is committed to increasing security and enhancing our economic prosperity,” said Van Loan.
“This demonstrates our firm commitment to working with President Obama’s administration in tackling illegal smuggling of guns and drugs between our countries,” he noted.
The coming to force of this legislation will permit specially-designated Canadian and American law enforcement personnel to jointly work on marine law enforcement vessels in boundary waters, such as the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, and off both east and west coasts.
Working together, these officers will be authorized to enforce the law on both sides of the border to help ensure criminal organizations no longer exploit shared waterways.
“This proposed legislation is a new approach to border law enforcement,” said Nicholson.
“With its accompanying regulatory changes, the proposed legislation provides a proper legal framework and ensures effective integrated law enforcement operations can occur in boundary waters,” he explained.
“The coming into force of this legislation will strengthen North American security, facilitate legitimate trade, and help domestic economic growth,” said Foreign minister Lawrence Cannon.
The framework agreement on integrated law enforcement operations in boundary waters with the U.S. was signed in May by Van Loan and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.