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Readout of Secretary Napolitano's Trip to Canada and Meeting with Public Safety Canada Minister Vic Toews

Release Date: 
August 15, 2011

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

WINNIPEG, Canada–Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today traveled to Winnipeg, Canada to meet with her Canadian counterpart Public Safety Minister Vic Toews to discuss the ongoing partnership between the United States and Canada to work collaboratively on our shared vision for perimeter security and strengthen information sharing to better combat cross-border crime, while expediting legitimate trade and travel.

"We must stop individuals and transnational criminal organizations that seek to exploit the border shared by the United States and Canada to traffic drugs, arms and other illicit goods," said Secretary Napolitano. "We will continue working closely with our Canadian partners through greater operational collaboration and intelligence sharing to strengthen the security of both our nations within, at, and away from our border."

Following their meeting in June, Secretary Napolitano and Minister Toews discussed the countries' progress implementing the objectives set forth in the declaration by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper—Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness—which outlines how the two countries will manage shared homeland and economic security in the 21st century.

"Canada and the United States enjoy a strong and productive partnership aimed at strengthening security at our shared border, while keeping our countries open to the legitimate movement of people and goods," said Minister Toews. "We are pleased with progress being made on a joint action plan that will further promote security and support trade and economic growth."

During the meeting, Secretary Napolitano reiterated the nations' shared responsibility for the safety, security, and resilience of the United States and Canada by addressing threats at the earliest point possible; facilitating trade, economic growth, and jobs; and collaborating on integrated cross-border law enforcement.

Over the past two years, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has made critical security improvements along the Northern border, investing in additional inspectors at the ports of entry, Border Patrol agents between the ports, and technology and infrastructure that enhance security and expedite travel.

To date, DHS has deployed 2,200 Border Patrol agents along the Northern border, a 700 percent increase since 9/11. The Department also has nearly 3,800 U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers managing the flow of people and goods across ports of entry and crossings, and with Recovery Act funds, DHS is modernizing more than 35 land ports of entry along the Northern border to better meet our security and operational needs.

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.

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