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On March 16, 2015, Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced a new preclearance agreement. This agreement is deliverable through the Beyond the Border initiative, as a means to improve the flow of legitimate trade and travel, while continuing to enhance, and ensure border integrity and security.
Every day over 400,000 people cross the Canada-United States border, along with over $2 billion in goods and services. Free and open trade between our two countries generates jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity.
Preclearance is a procedure to arrange for clearing customs or immigration in advance. Border officers from the inspecting country carry out customs, immigration and agriculture inspections in the “host country” before allowing people, or goods pass into the inspecting country. The objective of preclearance is to expedite this process by making air travel more efficient, allowing travellers to avoid lengthy and unpredictable customs lines in the U.S., but also facilitating improved transborder flow through Canadian airports to increase competitiveness as hubs for in-transit-travel.
This new agreement covers all modes of travel, and will replace the existing Air Transport Preclearance Agreement. The creation of this new agreement ensures a consistent approach to all preclearance activities regardless of the mode of transportation. This single agreement will make it easier to implement and govern preclearance activities effectively.
On February 15, 2015, the National Flag of Canada will turn 50! As we prepare for the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the 50th anniversary of our flag is a milestone that will allow Canadians to reflect on our flag and what it represents — a nation strong, proud and free that is admired and respected at home and around the world. Our national flag speaks to what we have accomplished together, to the historical moments that have served to define us, and to the promising future of this great country. For more information please visit http://www.canada.ca/flagday.
On the fifth anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, we pause to remember all those who died or were injured in the January 2010 event. Canada wants all who were affected to know that our thoughts and prayers are with them on this day.
We wish to acknowledge the incredible resilience and perseverance that Haiti’s people have shown in the face of such tragedy. While challenges remain, vital infrastructure and national institutions are being rebuilt, and living conditions are improving. We also take this opportunity to thank all the Canadians that have contributed in many ways to help Haiti recover.
Our government has recently re-confirmed Haiti as a country of focus for our development cooperation. Canadians and Haitians alike want to see a Haiti that is stable and prosperous and where there are opportunities for all. Our ongoing engagement in Haiti will be anchored in mutual accountability and greater aid coordination to ensure all citizens can benefit from stable and sustainable economic growth.
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