Canada – U.S. Border Update March 2016
Canada Pushes Airport Preclearance
The new Liberal government in Ottawa is making a renewed effort to increase
customs preclearance capabilities for persons traveling by air to the U.S.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau was recently in Washington to talk to U.S.
officials about the prospect of adding Toronto and Quebec City airports to the list
of Canadian airports that have U.S. Customs officials working onsite.
Canadian federal and provincial officials believe that expanding U.S.
preclearance capability to the Billy Bishop airport in Toronto and the Jean
Lesage airport in Quebec City would increase the availability of direct flights to
more destinations in the U.S.
Many small and mid-size U.S. airports do not have customs facilities on site,
meaning international travelers must route through an airport that does.
Eight Canadian airports already offer U.S. Customs preclearance: Ottawa,
Toronto Pearson, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal and
Winnipeg. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, operations at
these airports preclear approximately 11 million passengers bound for the U.S.
Last year the Canadian and U.S. governments reached an agreement in
principal to broadly expand preclearance and pre-inspection of passengers and
cargo on each other’s soil. The agreement covers all transport modes; land, air,
rail and marine.
However, the pact requires approval by the national legislatures of both
countries; something which has not yet happened.
CSG/ERC has long been an advocate for expansion of preclearance programs
and has strongly urged the two countries to move quickly to remove remaining
MacNaughton named Ambassador to the U.S.
David MacNaughton has been named Canada’s new Ambassador to the U.S.
He takes over from Gary Doer (See accompanying article).
MacNaughton is a business executive and public affairs consultant who has
been active in Liberal Party politics. Most recently he has served as Chairman of
StrategyCorp, a Toronto-based consulting firm.
A confidant of new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, MacNaughton served as
Ontario co-chair for the Liberal Party’s national political campaign last year.
In a statement released to the press, MacNaughton said “I’m honoured to
become Canada’s diplomatic representative with our most important economic
and national security partner… The relationship between Canada and the United
States is as important today as it has ever been. I look forward to serving Prime
Minister Trudeau, the Government of Canada, and the Canadian people to
ensure we expand and deepen our productive and constructive relationship with
our closest ally and neighbour.”
Doer Joins Can/Am BTA Advisory Board
Former Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer has joined the Senior
Advisory Board of the Canadian/American Border Trade Alliance (Can/Am BTA).
Can/Am BTA President & CEO James D. Phillips released a statement saying
the organization has “enjoyed a long standing and productive working
relationship with Ambassador Doer and we look forward to his effective
Can/Am BTA is a group of private and public sector organizations working to
facilitate cross-border movement of people and goods.
Doer also recently announced he will take up a part time position with the
Woodrow Wilson Center, a Washington D.C. – based think tank. Doer will cochair
the advisory committee to the Center’s Canada Institute which focuses on
Canada-U.S. relations and Canada’s international role.
Doer was appointed to his diplomatic post by former Prime Minister Stephen
Harper in 2009. He left office last month to make way for David MacNaughton;
new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s selection to replace him (See
Prior to being named ambassador in 2009, Doer was Premier of Manitoba.
For more information, please contact Earl Eisenhart
The Council of State Governments Eastern Regional Conference
22 Cortlandt Street
New York, New York 10007