Wednesday, March 15, 2006

North American security

The Canadian tourism industry is starting to let its concerns be known about the effects of the proposed U.S. identity documentation required of travelers from America. It worries that Americans will forgo travel to Canada for business and pleasure because of these restrictions. Indeed, we can expect that this obstacle will result in reduced flows of money into this important part of our economy. This will affect many businesses and employees in the Canadian travel and tourism industry.

Understandably, the United States must take responsibility for the security of its citizens. They have every reason to make their border with Canada as secure as feasible. Unfortunately, until Canada embarks upon a harmonization of security and moves toward the ideal of a North American security perimeter, it will be forced to deal with unfortunate consequences for trade. It is important that the Canadian government tackle this vulnerability head on. That means clearly establishing a shared commitment to security and integrating North American security measures and forces. There is too much at stake to leave the U.S. government forced to invoke the documentation requirements. Better that Canada help offer alternative solutions. We are, irrevocably, partners in our own security. Canadians should take this relationship seriously.

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