MASSE QUESTIONS HARPER GOVERNMENT ON BORDER PERIMETER SECURITY DEAL

MASSE QUESTIONS HARPER GOVERNMENT ON

BORDER PERIMETER SECURITY DEAL

OTTAWA, ON – Brian Masse MP (NDP Critic for the Canada-US Border) questioned the Harper Government today, in the House of Commons, on their history of signing deals with the United States which have significantly harmed Canadians and our economy.

 Citing the softwood lumber agreement and the “Buy America” plan, Masse asked, “Why should Canadians trust them this time, when every other deal was bad for business?” 

 Masse further questioned the ability of this Conservative government to sign off on a good deal for Canada when the US will not even hold a joint public signing ceremony for this deal.  He questioned, “Canadian officials are heading to Washington this weekend to plead with the US government to hold a public signing ceremony for the deal.  If they can’t negotiate a signing ceremony, how can they negotiate a deal that’s good for Canadians?”

 Masse has been critical of the secretive perimeter security deal that the Harper Government announced with the US federal Administration last February 4, 2011.  In response, the respective federal governments jointly created the Beyond the Border Working Group to study the several aspects of the border including: security threats, trade, integrated cross-border law enforcement, infrastructure and cyber-security.  The two reports were released this past August 29, 2011, and contained the summaries of the submissions received by the working group. 

 “This government needs to address the concerns from these submissions, including the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, who shared concerns about the privacy of Canadians should we the government move forward with such an agreement.  It’s not time for a fence along the border, and it’s not time to just hand over Canadians’ private information to the US,” stated Masse.  It’s time for our Government to take a leadership role, protect Canadians and our privacy rights, and negotiate a deal that benefits Canadians.”

 Brian Masse met with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada last week on this matter.

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 For further information: Melanie Namespetra (613) 996-1541