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Cablegate: Canada: Attorney General Gonzales' May 18 Visit

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





E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) As you prepare for your first meeting with Canada's
Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan and Minister of Justice
Irwin Cotler, I want to extend my welcome and offer the
Embassy's continuing support for the range of issues,
initiatives, and processes that form the core of the
Department of Justice's interests and programs in Canada. At
a time when Washington, Ottawa, and indeed Mexico City, are
formulating ideas to advance North America's collective
prosperity and security, your visit underscores the
importance we place on open and forward-leaning collaboration
with Ottawa. The Cross Border Crime Forum is a prime example
of this U.S. and Canadian collaboration and your visit, even
during troubled political times in Canada, underscores our
commitment to this process.

2. (SBU) You come to Ottawa at a very "interesting" time
politically. At this point it is unclear how long - or if -
the minority Government led by Prime Minister Paul Martin can
remain in office without a new national election. Stephen
Harper, leader of the Official Opposition Conservative Party,
is committed to bringing down the Liberal Government and
forcing an election as soon as possible, and he is very close
to having the votes to win a no confidence vote, now
scheduled for May 19.

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3. (SBU) This uncertainty does spill over into the law
enforcement arena, and you will undoubtedly hear of Justice
Minister Cotler's stalled attempt to advance additional
anti-human trafficking legislation, an issue of concern he
and your predecessor shared. Still, even in the present
unsettled atmosphere, your visit can reinforce the absolute
necessity for official Americans and official Canadians to
push forward on our common law enforcement objectives. This
is nowhere more evident than in your confirmation that the
Cross Border Crime Forum shall continue to be the driving
mechanism that gives voice to our Justice-to-Justice
dialogue, a road map that continues to serve us so well.

4. (SBU) Regardless of party affiliation, most Canadians
understand that prosperity, safety and well-being of our two
societies are linked. Most Canadians appreciate the threat
posed by would-be terrorists and increasingly by organized
and violent criminals. While many don't feel Canada is
itself a primary target for terrorists, they realize that an
open and free-flowing border with the U.S. is vital to their
economic prosperity. This understanding has given us
leverage as we pursue our law enforcement/justice goals in
Canada. Indeed, your predecessor's quiet but firm commitment
to law enforcement was heard loud and clear throughout Ottawa.

5. (SBU) The working relationships among the Ministries of
Justice and Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and your
Department of Justice are professional and productive. The
warm welcome you receive from Deputy Prime Minister McLellan
and Minister Cotler is genuine and reflects the exemplary
working relationship on justice and law enforcement issues
that has existed for years. Both have stated that they want
this relationship to continue and expand. To further our
agenda, we suggest you raise the following issues with your
Canadian counterparts that the Mission sees as 'fixable'
stumbling blocks to even better cooperation. They are:

Canada's Privacy Concerns

6. (SBU) There is growing concern among certain consumer and
union groups in Canada about the privacy effects of certain
elements of the Patriot Act, primarily Section 215. In
November 2004, following objections public employee unions in
British Colombia to the contracting out of health claim
processing to a U.S. firm, the BC Privacy Commissioner issued
a report that raised concerns but characterized the risks as
manageable through additional contractual safeguards. The
Federal Privacy Commissioner has undertaken a review of the
issues raised in BC and the federal Treasury Board has asked
federal agencies to review their contracting and report back
on any potential issues.

7. (SBU) While Canadian government experts believe that
Patriot Act procedures are not incompatible with Canadian
privacy legislation, which is more operationally flexible
than that of the European Union, the government feels
increasing pressure to address the issue. They suggest
exchanging views and information on a range of
privacy-related topics in a low-key, non-confrontational
manner, rather than focusing on the Patriot Act. We suggest
that you reassure your interlocutors that the U.S., too, has
addressed and is committed to privacy issues.

Production Orders

8. (SBU) U.S. and Canadian counter-terrorism and
counter-crime efforts could result in more successful
deterrents, arrests, and prosecutions if U.S. and Canadian
law enforcement authorities could draw from better
harmonization of legal provisions, methodologies and
operational standards. For instance, Canada's "probable
cause to believe" and signed court order requirements are
more difficult for Canadian law enforcement officials to meet
than the "reasonable suspicion" standard used in the U.S. As
a result, Canadian law enforcement officials tell us that
they are unable to secure warrants against individuals police
believe have conspired or are conspiring to commit criminal
and terrorist acts. Presently, domestic legislation has
passed in Canada (March 2004) that allows for production
orders, but it has not been implemented for lack of a clear
evidentiary standard. Therefore, it would help if you were
to suggest to Ministers McLellan and Cotler that they push
for a process that compels evidence more expeditiously on a
"reasonable suspicion" standard. You may even want to
reinforce the ongoing discussions in the law enforcement
working group of President Bush's Security and Prosperity
Partnership as an ideal channel to discuss this issue.

Law Enforcement Partnership

9. (SBU) Our working level contacts at the Ministry of
Justice have told us that Canada may soon formalize a
shiprider protocol with the United States that would allow
U.S. Coast Guard vessels with Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(RCMP) officers on board to conduct interdiction patrols in
Canadian waters of the Great Lakes. Our hope is that a
shiprider protocol may serve as a stepping-stone to more
routine U.S. and Canadian law enforcement joint operations
along our contiguous land and sea frontier. For instance, we
would welcome the expansion of the already successful
Integrated Border Enforcement Team (IBET) program to include
joint (vs. the current parallel) patrols, and the addition of
overflight and landing provisions for IBET air components.
We would hope you could find the opportunity to endorse a
US-Canadian shiprider protocol as an important law
enforcement interdiction program.

10. (SBU) Your interlocutors might also query you on the
status of Title 19. The absence of a carriage-of-arms
reciprocal agreement between the U.S. and Canada has been a
stumbling bloc to more effective IBET deployments since the
inception of the program. The U.S. passed amendments to
Title 19 in February 2003, and DHS has initiated
implementation procedures to allow for the cross-designation
of foreign law enforcement officers as Customs Officers in
the United States. Canada has stated that it would be
amenable to offer U.S. law enforcement officers Title-19-like
authorities and exemptions, but will not do so until the
apparent impasse in Washington is clarified and overcome.
Whether or not the Canadians raise Title 19, the Mission
contends that our ability to support effective law
enforcement work in Canada requires our officials have the
authority to carry arms. We would your support in securing
Title 19-like protections here in Canada. In the meantime,
should they ask, you might respond that you support this

11. (SBU) And, finally, your hosts may raise the US "Special
301" report criticizing Canada's intellectual property rights
(IPR) regime and enforcement mechanisms. RCMP and local
police officers are jointly responsible for IPR enforcement
inside Canada. U.S. (and many Canadian) companies have
complained that Canada's enforcement regime against
counterfeiting and piracy, both at the border and internally,
is cumbersome and ineffective, requiring civil court orders
before goods can be formally seized. RCMP representatives
say they are emphasizing training and streamlining procedures
and have had a couple of highly publicized seizures in recent
months. The IPR enforcement issue has been on the agenda at
both the Cross-Border Crime Forum and in the Security and
Prosperity Partnership, and the US Trade Representative has
committed to an "out-of-cycle" review of Canada's legal
framework and enforcement procedures. Canadian officials
dislike and reject the US "Special 301" process but say that
enforcement is receiving more attention as issues of public
safety, e.g., imports of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, come to
the fore. Indeed, the safety issues surrounding pirated
household electronic items are frequently raised by Deputy
Minister McLellan. During your meetings, you may want to
underscore the U.S. commitment to getting these hazards off
the streets and out of our homes.

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