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Cablegate: Canada: Ag Mukasey's Meeting with Minister Of

VZCZCXYZ0003
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHOT #0440/01 0911958
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311958Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7594
INFO RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSJGA/USCG WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS OTTAWA 000440

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KCRM PTER CA
SUBJECT: CANADA: AG MUKASEY'S MEETING WITH MINISTER OF
PUBLIC SAFETY DAY AT THE CROSS BORDER CRIME FORUM, QUEBEC
CITY, MARCH 18, 2008


1. (SBU) Summary: Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day
reviewed for Attorney General Mukasey on the margins of the
Cross Border Crime Forum, Canada's program for border
security and law enforcement. In addition to hiring 400 new
border guards and arming the border service, Canada has put
new resources into improving the technology and hiring 1,000
new federal officers. He stressed the importance of
relations to the United States for the government under Prime
Minister Stephen Harper, and expressed the determination to
keep open communications with us to ensure no "thickening" of
the border. In response to a question, the AG confirmed
that, while there are individuals of concern in both Canada
and the U.S., there is not a USG perception that terrorists
are streaming across the border with Canada. End Summary.

THE GOVERNMENT'S LAW AND ORDER AGENDA
-------------------------------------

2. (SBU) Attorney General Mukasey met with Canadian Public
Safety Minister Day on the margins of the Cross Border Crime
Forum (septel) in Quebec City March 18. Canadian Ambassador
to the U.S. Wilson and U.S. Ambassador to Canada Wilkins were
also in attendance. Day highlighted that the government
under PM Harper came into office in 2006 with a specific
focus on law and order. It has pushed through a broad legal
and technical border agenda, including 400 new border
officers, the arming of the border service, 1,000 more
federal law enforcement officers, and significant increases
in funding for equipment and improved border technology, Day
explained.

3. (SBU) Day underscored that Canada highly values its
excellent working relationship with U.S. border services and
law enforcement agencies and is constantly looking for ways
to further improve cooperation. The government, he said, was
pleased with the strength of the U.S.-Canada relationship.
Day explained that the O'Connor inquiry into the Arar affair
had revealed that information shared with the U.S. had not
been subject to as careful controls as it should have been,
which has made it harder since then for Canada to share
information with the U.S. He expressed the belief that our
two countries work well operationally, but still need to keep
evaluating and improving our system for sharing information.


CONCERN OVER BORDER THICKENING
------------------------------

4. (SBU) Day said that there is a general apprehension in
Canada about a "thickening" of the border. He reiterated
that Canada also wants to keep the border secure, but was
concerned with "over-regulation" by the U.S. that could hurt
the Canadian economy, which is very dependent on cross border
trade. Canadian Ambassador Wilson pointed out that about 40%
of the Canadian GDP comes from exports, with 76% of its
exports going to the U.S.; a large number of items must cross
the border several times in the course of manufacturing. Day
commented positively on his discussions on pre-clearance
procedures with Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff, noting
that Canada understands that, for legal reasons, the U.S.
would have a difficult time doing passenger land
pre-clearance, but hopes that there will be progress on the
commercial side. He welcomed a recent meeting between
Canadian officials and National Security Advisor Hadley and
other White House officials to discuss the rollout of the
Qother White House officials to discuss the rollout of the
Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), and expressed
the hope these meetings will continue on a quarterly basis.

NO TERRORISTS STREAMING ACROSS THE BORDER
-----------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Day asked for clarification from the Attorney
General on how the USG views the terrorist threat emanating
from Canada. Periodically, he said, there is a media
reaction in the United States to something like the Khadr
case that leads to the image of large numbers of terrorists
"prancing around" in Canada uncontrolled. AG Mukasey
confirmed that there were some individuals of concern in
Canada, just as there are in the United States, but the USG
does not believe that terrorists are "streaming across the
border." Day stressed the importance of ensuring officials
and the public in the U.S. have correct information on this.
Day noted that the "less fuel" that is given to certain media
outlets in the U.S. on this issue, the better.

6. (U) This cable has been cleared by the AG's party.

Visit Canada,s Economy and Environment Forum at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/can ada

WILKINS

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