The Government of Canada released a news release on June 15th 2016 regarding the introduction of an act that would amend the Customs Act, copied below:
The Government of Canada remains committed to a strong, secure, and efficient border with the United States.
The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, today introduced legislation in the House of Commons that will allow the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to collect routine biographic information on all travellers exiting Canada.
Canada will ensure effective security measures are in place that both protect the safety of Canadians and safeguard their individual rights and freedoms, without impeding the vital flow of legitimate travel and trade across the border.
This initiative builds off the significant progress made during Canada’s state visit to Washington, where Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama announced that both countries would further deepen the longstanding cooperation along our shared border.
“We are committed to protecting Canadians and their individual rights and freedoms. It’s important that we have a clear picture of who is entering and exiting our country so we can ensure the efficient movement of legitimate trade and travel and keep our border secure.”
– Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“Entry/exit information is a key part of a traveller’s history that will help to make more informed decisions, improve program integrity and reduce fraud. For example, through these changes our officials would have more information available to accurately verify residency across multiple lines of business.”
– Hon. John McCallum, Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
- On March 10, 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau and President Barack Obama announced that both countries will fully implement a system to exchange basic biographic entry/exit information at the land border and build off the process already in place.
- Today, the Government of Canada collects biographic information on travellers entering the country, but has no reliable way of knowing when and where travellers leave the country.
- Once this legislation is passed, Canada will now know when and where someone enters the country, and when and where they leave the country.
- The Government of Canada will achieve this ability by working closely with our American counterparts and exchanging information at the land border.
- The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the individual rights and freedoms of Canadians, and has built privacy protections into the core of the Entry/Exit initiative.
- Exit information will only be disclosed in accordance with Canadian law, and would adhere to the disclosure provisions pursuant to both the Privacy Actand the Customs Act.
- Effective border management requires Canada to closely align its practises with our international partners. Recording this basic information will ensure the safety of Canadians, while also enhancing the ability of law enforcement, national security, and immigration agencies to make informed and timely decisions.
- Currently, Canada and the U.S. are exchanging biographic entry information on third-country nationals, permanent residents of Canada and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. at land ports of entry.
- This collection and exchange has proven to be seamless to the traveller. There are no delays at the border and no impact on traveller experience.
- For those travelling by air, no information exchange is necessary between the two countries because each country will independently collect what they need directly from airline passenger manifests.
- The process of collecting and sharing personal information has been, and will continue to be done, in accordance with each country’s privacy laws and policies.