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Canada kept U.S. border talks under wraps: document
OTTAWA—The federal government deliberately kept negotiations on a border deal with Washington secret while it planned ways to massage public opinion in favour of the pact, according to a confidential communications strategy.
The 14-page public relations document recommended that talks keep a “low public profile” in the months leading up to the announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama. At the same time, the government would secretly engage “stakeholders” — interested parties such as big business groups and others — in a way that respected “the confidentiality of the announcement.”
In advance, the government departments involved — including industry, foreign affairs, international trade and citizenship and immigration — were to “align supportive stakeholders to speak positively about the announcement,” according to the strategy prepared by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews’ officials.
On Friday, Harper and Obama signed off on a plan that for the first time envisions throwing up a single security ring around the perimeter of Canada and the U.S. The wide-ranging blueprint calls for increased cooperation between the two countries’ police, border and intelligence agencies; an integrated Canada-U.S. exit-entry system using high-tech identification techniques and more sharing of information about Canadians with U.S. authorities.
Under “communications challenges,” the document lists: “Greater information sharing is part of the initiative. The safeguarding of privacy and sovereignty will be of concern for Canadians.”
It also says Canadians may be too sanguine about security to see the need for the deal. “The Canadian public may underestimate the security threat to Canada.”
So I guess the bottom line is: the US is offering security in exchange of access to resources.
Is the Toronto Star a good source?
I didn`t think the Canadian people would go for it but, perhaps like in the UK, the people are simply not being asked and Governments are just doing what they like and to Hell with public opinion once they are elected.