” OTTAWA — The American ambassador to Canada says both countries should “seize the moment” and move ahead with a historic border-security deal, adding that Canadians have no reason to fear that their sovereignty is at risk.
The message was delivered Thursday by David Jacobson, who appeared at an event alongside his Canadian counterpart, Gary Doer. Both men said it is crucial that plans for a “perimeter security” agreement become a reality.
The broad outlines of the border agreement were contained in a declaration released in February by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama.
Since then, officials from the two countries have been working behind the scenes on the details. The purpose of the negotiations is to establish an “action plan'” on border security aimed at tightening protection against terrorists and easing the flow of cross-border traffic.
That action plan likely will be released by the end of the summer, says Harper. But critics say the talks are being conducted in secret and are worried that Harper, eager to get concessions from Obama on cross-border trade, will make too many of his own concessions to the Americans on security-related issues such as immigration, policing and the privacy of Canadians. ”