Ottawa, ON — Expanding preclearance will enable faster travel between Canada and the United States, provide access to more American airports, bolster trade, better protect our rights and increase security.
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale, highlighted the importance of Bill C-23: “An Act respecting the preclearance of persons and goods in Canada and the United States” receiving Royal Assent. This important milestone brings Canada and the United States closer to implementing the “Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine and Air Transport Preclearance between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America.”
Once enabling regulations are in place, Canada and the United States can ratify the Agreement and start expanding preclearance operations to other modes of transportation—land, rail and marine—in addition to new locations in the air mode. The Agreement also opens the door to explore possibilities for cargo preclearance. The regulations for the air mode are expected to be in place by the end of 2018.
“The Government of Canada is committed to making the Canada–United States border more efficient and secure,” said Goodale. “Earlier this year, the Prime Minister and President announced their intention to accelerate the completion of preclearance to additional cities. Today we are one step closer to expanding preclearance—making travel faster for Canadians and bolstering trade, while also protecting our rights.”
Almost $2.5 billion in two-way trade passes between Canada and the United States every day, in addition to more than 400,000 travellers.
At their meeting in February 2017, recognizing the success of preclearance operations for travellers, the Prime Minister and President committed to accelerating the expansion of preclearance operations to additional cities and to establishing preclearance operations for cargo.
In the spirit of a more efficient and secure border, they also committed to examining ways to further integrate our border operations.
The mutual respect of both countries’ laws and sovereignty is a fundamental principle of the “Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine and Air Transport Preclearance.” All U.S. preclearance activities in Canada will have to be carried out in a manner consistent with Canadian law, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Bill of Rights, and the Canadian Human Rights Act.
The Agreement allows for reimbursement of cost recovery of new preclearance operations, which are anticipated to be covered by the facility operator.