PM Justin Trudeau goes to Washington

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Washington, DC, March 11 (CINEWS): Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Barack Obama announced an expansion of customs pre-clearance locations. U.S.-bound passengers travelling through the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Quebec City’s Jean Lesage Airport and those travelling from Montreal’s central train station will soon be able to clear customs in Canada.
Changes are also coming to the inspection of cargo arriving at major ports in the two countries.
Eight Canadian airports and Vancouver’s Pacific Central train station already have U.S. Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance facilities that allow passengers to skip traditional border stops when entering the U.S.
Under the program, air passengers can also fly into American airports that are not equipped with customs officers, most notably Washington’s Reagan National Airport.
Canadian officials said as recently as last fall that the entry-exit program is in its final stages, though no revised dates have been unveiled.
The roll-out of the program — initially scheduled for June 2014 — has stalled after the then privacy commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, raised concerns about the misuse and inaccuracy of data collected at the border.
The proposed tracking system involves exchanging entry information collected from people at the land border — so that data on entry to one country would serve as a record of exit from the other.
In addition, Canada plans to collect information on people exiting by air — something the United States already does — by requiring airlines to submit passenger manifest data for outbound international flights.
The two countries plan to use the data to detect people overstaying their visas and to determine whether those subject to removal or departure orders have actually left.
It will also help gauge whether someone has met residency requirements for citizenship by measuring how long they have been present in the country. And it could help prevent people from assuming one identity in Canada and another in the U.S.
The U.S. has the legislative authority to proceed, but the Trudeau government would need to pass a bill to authorize this form of information sharing. But first there would have to be wide consultations across the country.

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