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Dan-in-Ottawa

Airport security changes fly

One of the subjects that has been raised in many recent media headlines is renewed concerns of the expanded rights of United States border agents working in the “pre-clearance” area at Canadian airports.

“Pre-clearance” applies to passengers departing Canadian airports for United States destinations.

The concerns are based on recent amendments to the laws that relate to the Canada/USA Pre-Clearance agreement. United States border agents working in Canadian pre-clearance zones now have many of the same rights and abilities similar to those that exist at U.S. land based border crossings.
 
Some have suggested that these expanded powers may be contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

Critics have stated that “Trudeau's government is empowering foreign officials and disempowering Canadian citizens. He is kowtowing to American imperialism.”

From my perspective this is an area where, despite my being a member of the official Opposition, I believe that the Trudeau Liberal government has created a necessary balance in order for pre-clearance to have the opportunity to work successfully.

If a citizen is going to be refused entry into the United States, for whatever reason, it is far more convenient for that refusal to occur in Canada at a pre-clearance location, as opposed to being refused entry after landing in the United States, where a subsequent deportation and related unplanned air travel costs could present a far more serious inconvenience. 

In more extreme cases, a citizen could be potentially held in the U.S., pending deportation, creating an extremely stressful and unpleasant situation.

Pre-clearance here in Canada helps to increase efficiency and eliminate uncertainty, as well as mitigate the risks of dealing with an unexpected situation upon arrival in the United States.

For pre-clearance to work, it is understandable that the United States must have similar measures in place at all border crossings that provide entry into the country.

For these reasons, I believe the Liberal government has achieved a balance that has resulted in the expansion of the pre-clearance program.

From most of the feedback I have received, pre-clearance has proven to be an easier, less stressful way to fly across the border for those citizens who decide to visit to the United States.
 
My question this week:

Are you supportive of the pre-clearance program operating in Canadian airports for U.S. bound travellers? 

I can be reached at [email protected] or toll free 1-800-665-8711.

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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the shadow minister of innovation, science, economic development and internal trade, and sits on the standing committee on finance.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

In British Columbia, Dan has been consistently one of the lowest spending MPs on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

Dan is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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