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Cablegate: New U.S.- Canada Aviation Preclearance Agreement

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS OTTAWA 001251

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EB/TRA-SUSAN PARSON AND WHA/CAN-BILL MCCULLA
DHS FOR F. KINNEY
DHS FOR JOE O'GORMAN AND LIZ TISDALE
WHITE HOUSE FOR HSC-CHRIS HORNBARGER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ECON PREF CA
SUBJECT: NEW U.S.- CANADA AVIATION PRECLEARANCE AGREEMENT

REF: OTTAWA 965

1. The United States and Canada exchanged diplomatic notes
May 2, bringing into effect the Aviation Preclearance
Agreement that had been signed in 2001. Ambassador Cellucci
exchanged notes with Foreign Minister Graham in a ceremony in
Canada's Parliament building. Transportation Minister
Collenette also participated.

2. The Ministers and the Ambassador made brief remarks.
Graham praised the Ambassador for his work to overcome
obstacles and bring the agreement into force. He also noted
that the agreement took account of the Canadian Charter of
Rights and that it would allow for expansion of preclearance
services to other airports. Collenette described the
advantages of in-transit preclearance, although he did not
actually use that term. Ambassador Cellucci said that the
agreement helped to improve security for U.S. preclearance
personnel, and stressed that preclearance is a great
convenience that promotes tourism, business, and family ties
among Americans and Canadians.

3. There was a substantial press contingent at the event.
The questions for the Ambassador and the Ministers, however,
focused on upcoming Canadian government decisions about the
decriminalization of marijuana and about participation in a
missile defense program.

4. Comment: In recent conversations, Canadian officials have
emphasized that the major advantage to Canada from the new
agreement is the prospect of in-transit preclearance in
several Canadian airports. However, these officials have
said they are not aware of any plans by an airport to request
in-transit preclearance in the near term.

CELLUCCI

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