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In a ceremony designed to remain below the radar of national public opinion, Obama and Harper bypassed Congress to sign on the basis of their executive authority a declaration that put in place a new national security vision defined not by U.S. national borders, but by a continental view of a "North American perimeter." ..."To preserve and extend the benefits … our close relationship has helped bring to Americans and Canadians alike, we intend to pursue a perimeter approach to security, working together within, at, and away from the borders of our two countries to enhance our security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods, and services between our two countries," the declaration announced in the preamble.
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VERY good article and worth the read!
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. ... 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.” ... Advocacy and civil rights groups such as the Council of Canadians, led by Maude Barlow, were also expected to react negatively because of “privacy concerns.”
Of course there's more, but the wording is very... tame.
We intend to pursue creative and effective solutions to manage the flow of traffic between the United States and Canada. ... We intend to build on existing bilateral law enforcement programs to develop the next generation of integrated cross-border law enforcement operations that leverage cross-designated officers and resources to jointly identify, assess, and interdict persons and organizations involved in transnational crime.
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.” -thestar.com