Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence
Issue No. 12 - Evidence - Meeting of February 8, 2017
OTTAWA, Wednesday, February 8, 2017
The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, to which
was referred Bill S-233, An Act to amend the Customs Act and the Immigration
and Refugee Protection Act (presentation and reporting requirements), met
this day at 12 p.m. to give consideration to the bill.
Senator Daniel Lang (Chair) in the chair.
The Chair: Welcome to the Standing Senate Committee on National
Security and Defence for Wednesday, February 8, 2017. My name is Daniel
Lang, senator from Yukon. On my immediate left is the clerk of the
committee, Adam Thompson, and on my right is Marcus Pistor, Library of
I would like to ask the senators to introduce themselves.
Senator Dagenais: Jean-Guy Dagenais from the province of Quebec.
Senator Saint-Germain: Raymonde Saint-Germain, senator from
Senator Wallin: Pamela Wallin from Saskatchewan. I'm substituting
for Senator Boniface today.
Senator Beyak: Lynn Beyak from Ontario.
Senator Baker: George Baker from Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Chair: Today we will review Bill S-233, An Act to amend the
Customs Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (presentation and
reporting requirements). This is a private member's bill which was referred
by the Senate to this committee last week. The sponsor of this bill, Senator
Runciman of Ontario, is here to present the bill, along with the Member of
Parliament for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, Mr. Gordon
Brown. I want to give a special welcome to a very special guest, New York
State Senator Patty Ritchie, who will also be presenting.
Senator Runciman, I understand you have an opening statement. I invite
you to begin.
Hon. Bob Runciman, sponsor of the bill: Mr. Chairman and members
of the committee, I want to thank you for accommodating me on short notice
in recognizing the desire for many to see this legislation in place before
next summer's boating season. I also want to thank New York State Senator
Patty Ritchie for changing her very busy schedule so she could be with us
here today to talk about Bill S-233.
It was Senator Ritchie who first raised this problem with me, and it was
this issue that led to the creation of a cross- border caucus of legislators
dealing with matters of mutual concern to eastern Ontario and northern New
York. Senator Ritchie and I co-chair that group. I am also pleased to appear
alongside Member of Parliament Gord Brown, my MP, who has worked on this
file for some period of time as well.
The circumstances that led to the introduction of Bill S-233 involved the
case of a New York man, Roy Andersen, who was drift fishing in Canadian
waters in the Thousand Islands area of the St. Lawrence River back on May
30, 2011. Canada Border Services Agency officers seized his boat until he
paid a $1,000 fine, which was later reduced to $1.
Andersen had an Ontario fishing licence, but he hadn't reported to Canada
customs when he crossed into Canadian waters. I don't think very many people
knew it at the time, but that is an offence under the Customs Act.
Since that time, CBSA officials have made it very clear that anyone who
crosses into Canada's inland waters, even if they don't stop, is guilty of
an offence if they do not report by telephone.
There is an exception in section 11 of the current Customs Act, which
says those who enter and then leave Canadian waters or airspace do not have
to report if they are proceeding directly from one place outside Canada to
another place outside Canada. This is interpreted to mean they are following
the shortest possible route between two places outside Canada. Otherwise,
travellers who enter Canadian waters must report even if they do not drop
anchor or touch land.
In the region we're talking about, this is not a practical requirement.
The border is anything but a straight line in this area, primarily because
of the more than 1,800 Islands along an 80-kilometre stretch of the upper
St. Lawrence between eastern Ontario and northern New York, and it's not
obvious which side you are on at any given time. You will hear more about
that from other witnesses today and also about the damage this has done to
cross-border relations and to tourism-dependent economies.
I'll turn now to the provisions of Bill S-233 and how they address this
The bill adds an exemption for those who enter Canadian waters or
airspace on board a conveyance directly from another country and then return
to that country:
. . . if the person did not disembark, anchor, moor or make contact
with another conveyance while in Canadian waters, including the inland
waters, or did not moor or tether while in the airspace over Canada.
I might add that even those who qualify for either of these exemptions
can still be required to report if an officer tells them to do so. The bill
also makes clear that Canadians who leave Canadian waters or airspace are
not required to report upon their re-entry, so long as they meet these same
Bill S-233 also amends the Customs Act so that the same rules apply to
goods on board a conveyance. They are not required to be reported, provided
the "conveyance did not anchor, moor or make contact with another
conveyance.'' Again, as with the previous section, an officer can still
require reporting despite the exemption.
The bill also provides authority for the Governor in Council to make
regulations prescribing how these exemptions work and also to define the
expression "make contact with another conveyance.'' The Immigration and
Refugee Protection Act amendments are intended to provide more
regulation-making authority to deal with the particular exemptions in this
There's also a coordinating amendment to deal with the Customs Act
amendments contained in Bill C-21, which was introduced in the house in June
and is awaiting second reading.
You will note that none of the exemptions provided for in Bill S-233 are
left wide open. In every case, an officer retains the authority to require
reporting and the bill also provides regulation-making authority to
determine the specifics.
It's not my intent with Bill S-233 to make our border more porous and I
do not believe this bill will have that effect. It's my intent to make
border reporting more practical in specific circumstances, such as in the
sometimes confusing geography of the Thousand Islands. There are other
regions of Canada where the same issue is at play, and I believe this
legislation accomplishes that goal, Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much.
The Chair: Senator Ritchie, please.
Senator Patty Ritchie, New York State Senate, as an individual:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and honourable senators. Thank you for inviting me
here to testify about a matter that is important to the people that I
represent along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. As a member of the
New York State Senate, it is a rare and historic privilege to be invited to
Canada's capital to offer my thoughts on a problem that affects our
constituents on both sides of the border.
As the senator who represents the longest stretch of the Empire State's
450-mile shared international border, I have always taken a great deal of
pride in the unique relationship my constituents and I have with the people
When I was invited here today, I was reminded about my first trip to
Parliament and Ottawa, a few years ago, on my sixth-grade class trip. Where
I live, just outside of Ogdensburg, it is minutes outside the Canadian
border, and it is less than 50 miles from my home to Ottawa. When my
children were growing up, I used to drive them to hockey practice at rinks
in Ontario. My family often visits Ottawa, Brockville, Prescott and
Six years ago when an American boater in the Gananoque Narrows was
stopped by officers of the Canada Border Services Agency, I and countless
others were shocked to learn that his boat was seized. He was told that if
he did not immediately pay a $1,000 fine on the spot, he would be handcuffed
and forced to lie on his stomach while his boat was towed to Canada, where
he could face a penalty up to $25,000.
As someone who used to go for boat rides with friends along the Ontario
side of the river to look at your beautiful shoreline, I believe it could
have been me or a member of my family that this happened to.
Those of us who call the Thousand Islands region home know that the
international border is not a straight line and usually not even in the
middle of the river. It zigzags among the islands and sometimes runs through
the seaway shipping channel that the citizens of our two countries helped
build just a half-century ago.
The area along the border I represent is a very special place where many
of my constituents, and even I, can proudly trace our ancestors back to
Canada. For those of us who make our homes in the St. Lawrence Valley, the
river is more of a neighbourhood that brings us together, rather than a line
that divides us.
Unfortunately, since this event, I can honestly say that my family and I,
along with many others, have not taken another boat ride along the Canadian
shore. It has sent a chill among the border communities I represent,
creating a layer of uncertainty at a time when security issues at border
crossings are already making more and more people think twice before they
travel to Canada.
I want to personally and publicly thank my friend and your colleague
Senator Runciman for his leadership on this very important issue. When this
troubling incident happened, I did not know him Senator Runciman. I reached
out to him as a fellow legislator who represented communities along the St.
Lawrence River. I asked him to look into it because I was worried about how
it could affect the relationship between our two nations. Senator Runciman
took a public stand in favour of international friendship at a time when a
lot of people were willing to sacrifice our unique relationship for concerns
that had little to do with border security.
This international incident threatened to tear apart the people who live
along our common border, but it also helped to bring us together. Because of
it, Senator Runciman, Member of Parliament Brown and I created our
International Border Caucus with other members of the New York State Senate
so we could talk about common problems and ways we could work together to
help maintain our relationships with our constituents that they have forged
over the centuries. Today your committee has a historic opportunity to bring
the people we both represent back together and strengthen the ties that have
made our relationship so unique in a dangerous world.
Thank you, and I look forward to any questions you might have.
The Chair: Thank you, senator.
Mr. Brown, please proceed.
Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds—Grenville— Thousand Islands
and Rideau Lakes, as an individual: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman
and senators. It's an honour to have been asked to come to this committee
today along with Senator Runciman and New York State Senator Ritchie.
As Senator Ritchie outlined, we've had a number of meetings about this
issue over the last number of years. It should also be noted that I have a
similar bill before the House of Commons as a private member's bill which is
a little further down the order of precedent. We're hoping to see this bill
get passed through the Senate and then move, of course, through the House of
Commons. The sooner that this can happen, the better, hopefully, for this
Senators, this bill before us today serves to amend regulations which are
not only grossly disproportionate to the goal of protecting Canadian people
but also harmful to Canadian principles of legal fairness and detrimental to
the small businesses which constitute the backbone of our tourism industry.
It's important that we make these changes now to ensure that our legislation
reflects the needs of Canadians today rather than nearly 90 years in the
past, when this legislation was created to stop the smuggling of alcohol
between our nations. The United States has made great progress in developing
regulations which not only serve to promote easy travel between our
countries but also to effectively protect their country from any potential
risks on the water. Canada has yet to strike that same balance as our own
laws are so strict that they have caused many American citizens to conclude
that travel to Canadian waters is simply not worth the risk or the hassle.
The punishments imposed on individuals found in Canadian waters would be
considered severe even if the regulations were well known to United States'
citizens. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
On a regular basis, Americans enter our waters with the understanding
that they are allowed to do so as long as they do not anchor or come ashore.
This is a long-standing practice among fishermen, obvious passed from father
to son, and only interrupted on the rare occasion that the Canada Border
Services Agency happens to come upon an unreported vessel, as we've heard
about in the incident from a few years ago. In such instances, despite not
knowing that they were breaking the law, these individuals are faced with
the immediate and potentially permanent seizure of their vessel, humiliating
physical restraints, fines of $1,000 to be paid on the spot, as well as
other fines that can range as high as $25,000.
What makes this worse is that this degrading treatment often occurs after
the CBSA has determined that the individuals in question have no outstanding
criminal record and have no reason to believe that they pose any risk to
Canada. This behaviour constitutes a clear violation of the legal principles
that the Canadian people have come to consider a fundamental aspect of
judicial fairness in our country.
This includes concepts so important to us that we enshrined them in the
Charter: the right to life, liberty and security of the person; the right to
be secure against unreasonable search and seizure; and the right not to be
subject to any cruel or unusual treatment or punishment, including the
excessive use or abuse of force by law enforcement officials. These laws
were carefully crafted to ensure that no one would face discrimination in
Canadian territory, and yet we are so quick to ignore them for something as
benign as a fisherman on a day out with his family. It's a disgrace and our
Charter deserves more respect than that.
While the Supreme Court decision in Simmons acknowledges our right
to control who and what crosses our boundaries, it does not excuse the poor
treatment some have received. While the measures used may have been
defensible and even necessary when dealing with larger crafts and cargo
carriers, they serve no purpose in regulating small vessels.
Any fear of risk should already be dispelled by the fact that the United
States has allowed the easy passage of small crafts for a number of years
without issue and the fact that American pleasure crafts are already in our
waters without causing any trouble to the Canadian people.
Beyond the moral and legal implications of our current legislation, we
should also take time to consider the impact it may be having on the
Canadian tourism industry. A number of chambers of commerce across Canada
have expressed their concern that these incidents on the water are harmful
to their marketing efforts. I have had communications from folks in other
border areas where there's boundary water, such as in the Sarnia area and in
the Kenora area, as well as in Western Canada. While they and many small
tourist businesses work hard to present Canada as a friendly, welcoming and
fun place to visit, the press in the United States has repeatedly declared
that the regulations in question are a testament to the fact that we do not
want American visitors at all.
In my own riding of Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, we
have already experienced multiple incidents as a result of the current
legislation which have caused negative stories to circulate.
This is particularly concerning given the fact that the tourism industry
creates more than a million jobs, often providing employment for youth and
immigrants as well, who have historically had difficulty in finding and
maintaining steady employment. Canada should be doing everything possible to
promote our natural beauty, rich history and cultural diversity to the world
— not only for our benefit but also to grow our international relationships,
especially with our neighbours in the United States.
The proposed amendments in this bill are beneficial to all parties
involved and are long overdue. It's time to do away with these regulations
that do us no service. I look forward to this committee passing this
legislation back to the Senate and then, hopefully, we will see it in the
House of Commons as soon as possible. Thank you very much.
The Chair: That's definitely the intent on behalf of the committee
and I'm sure of the Senate.
I would like to start with questions from Senator Dagenais and then
Senator Dagenais: Welcome to Canada. It's always an honour to meet
a senator from the United States, and more precisely from the State of New
York. I thank Senator Runciman and Mr. Brown. I understand the situation
well, because I used to have a pleasure craft. The Thousand Islands region
is a very beautiful place for a boat ride.
However, I would like you to give us some details, because it is
difficult to identify the border between the two countries, especially in
the Thousand Islands region. Is it possible to locate the border using a
GPS? Are there patrol boats that monitor the border to avoid having people
find themselves in awkward situations? I will let you answer Ms. Ritchie.
Afterwards, the senator or Mr. Brown may want to add some comments. This is
a difficult situation for boaters at this time.
Senator Ritchie: When you're out, many of the boats we're talking
about are small. They don't have GPS on them. As soon as you start talking
about GPS, that rules out a fairly significant amount of the boats that
would be on the water. Even between where I live and Prescott, sometimes
it's hard to tell, when you get to the middle of the water, where you
actually are. But when you get closer to the Thousand Islands, and you're
navigating around the islands, that's where it becomes nearly impossible to
figure out whether you're in U.S. or Canadian waters.
Senator Runciman: I would say that's accurate. Also, if you're
using a smartphone, you run into huge problems of reception in that area —
we all know that — in terms of the roaming costs, which are pretty
In terms of this legislation, that doesn't have any impact because we
want people going back and forth. The Canadian boaters entering American
waters don't have to face these challenges. It's a different situation in
CBSA officials have gone to public meetings and said this is the law and
we're going to enforce it. The fact that they made an effort to go into the
United States and deliver those messages in unequivocal language is the
reason that both Gord and I felt it was necessary to introduce legislation
to address it.
Mr. Brown: Thank you for that question.
I live along the Thousand Islands area just east of Gananoque. When
you're out on the water, there are a lot of small islands. Generally you
know, but you could be in the U.S. waters without actually knowing that you
are. We always make a joke when we bring people to visit. We say, "Look over
the side of the boat and look down for the white line.'' Unfortunately,
there is no line that you can see that indicates which country you're in.
People from the United States could be in Canadian waters or vice versa
without knowing that. It's not something that's going to be easy to define.
Senator Saint-Germain: I'm especially pleased to welcome you,
Senator Ritchie, another woman senator. New York is a state that I frequent
regularly. I also love the people and the friendship between us and New York
State's citizens. I'm from Quebec, Quebec City.
The bill often refers to the expression "subject to the regulations.'' We
know that when legislation is implemented, often the issues of feasibility,
pragmatism and the difficulties are dealt with in the regulations. So my
first question to Senator Runciman or Mr. Brown is this: can you at this
time provide us with some details on the nature and scope of the regulation
or regulations that will be considered? Have you had some discussions with
the authorities, such as the Department of Immigration and the Canada Border
Services Agency on this topic?
Senator Runciman: I think allowing regulation-making authority is
necessary to ensure that CBSA has the tools to protect our border.
This is the second piece of legislation. Originally, I had tabled
legislation in the fall of last year which dealt only with boaters. My
office was approached by CBSA officials, and I have their slides in front of
me from that meeting. They asked for a meeting with us with respect to that
legislation. They fully support the intent. That's the message they
delivered to us. However, they felt the reporting system wasn't
comprehensive enough, and there were also changes that they felt would be
necessitated with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
What we did on that point was we stepped back and let my initial bill die
on the Order Paper. We worked with CBSA officials through the law clerk's
office. They brought forward what they felt was appropriate in terms of
their needs and addressed their concerns. We have incorporated those into
this legislation. That's why I'm very optimistic about the legislation,
because we have the support of the CBSA and of the government with respect
to moving this forward. These changes with respect to regulations are really
primarily driven by their request. Again, we respect what they're going to
require. We don't want to tie their hands with respect to ensuring that we
have a safe border.
Senator Lankin: Welcome, Senator Ritchie and MP Brown. It's an
honour to have you here. We appreciate your taking the time to address us.
Senator Runciman, your last answer I think resolved any questions I had.
It was around any technical issues that CBSA may have raised. I appreciate
the work you have done in bringing this forward. I am very supportive of
your bill and will work with you to facilitate its passage.
I have to apologize to you and to the witnesses who are coming up. I have
to leave at this point. This committee does not normally meet at this time.
We did this in order to facilitate bringing your bill forward. I have
another committee that I'm a member of that I have to go to. I do apologize,
but please know that I am appreciative, as another Ontario senator, of your
initiative here and your initiative in the house. It's important and I would
love to see it in place for the boating season as well.
Senator Beyak: I'd like to add my welcome to a fellow senator.
It's an honour to have you here with us.
You've already outlined your constituents' concerns and I appreciate
that. Could you elaborate on the public consultations, how they've occurred
and what the results have been?
Senator Runciman: Public consultations have primarily been for me
— and I think for Gord, but he can expand — essentially in the Thousand
Islands area with the chambers of commerce, the Thousand Islands boaters
associations, municipal councils and tourism organizations. We also have one
of the witnesses coming forward here from the New York State tourism sector,
and with Senator Ritchie and other colleagues on the New York State side as
well. That was in terms of the initial legislation that I have since
The additional consultation with respect to some of the more
comprehensive changes really is as a result of our discussions in working
with Canada Border Services Agency and with the Office of the Law Clerk in
the Senate. We were working in conjunction with them, making sure that we
had a back-and-forth over a period of seven or eight weeks.
At second reading, if you recall, one of the things I wanted to do very
clearly was thank the law clerk's office in the Senate. The individual who
worked on this and worked overtime, worked many hours. There was a lot of
frustration — I think she must have been pulling her hair — but she did a
wonderful job. It speaks volumes about the people in the law clerk's office
of the Senate, who do such good work. They were so dedicated in terms of the
timeline and hoping to have this legislation in place before next spring
that she went the extra mile, to say the least, to help us get to this
Mr. Brown: Thank you for that question. I've heard from many
constituents about this.
You're also going to hear later from Gary DeYoung from the 1000 Islands
International Tourism Council. As well, there's a cross-border group of
residents from the Thousand Islands called the Thousand Islands Association.
They have made many representations to me over the last couple of years
about how to see this resolved and really harmonize between the two
countries. We talk so much, especially in the Beyond the Border initiative,
of harmonizing regulations. This is an example of a regulation that's not
harmonized. There's definitely a lot of support.
The three of us here as witnesses today are familiar with this because of
the folks in our region, but as I said earlier, we're hearing from folks in
other boundary water, cross-border areas. This is not just an issue that's
isolated in the Thousand Islands but is really all across the entire
Canada-U.S. border where there are boundary waters.
Senator White: Have you looked at whether or not this legislation
would also cover those, for example, on the West Coast, in particular along
the coast of northern British Columbia? There's a lot of travel in between
the southern Alaskan tip and northern B.C. I know there were concerns back
in the late 1990s, for sure. There were people being stopped for doing
nothing and in some cases being arrested for illegally fishing. As to
whether the fish were American or Canadian depended on the accent, I guess.
Senator Runciman: We'll cover those kinds of concerns.
Senator White: So it's not just inland waters?
Senator Runciman: No.
There are also other concerns which I can't get into a lot of detail
about but, for example, whale watching in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. That
sort of thing will be covered by the legislation.
Senator White: I know there are real issues between New York State
and Ontario/Quebec in relation to illegal drug smuggling and firearms. Have
been there been discussions as well with various police agencies, including
the RCMP, about whether or not they're concerned about such legislation and
whether it would negatively impact on their ability to perform their duties?
Senator Runciman: No, we haven't heard any feedback. Certainly, in
the St. Lawrence Valley region, there's been considerable publicity about
this legislation and public calls for it to be enacted. I will say that I
haven't reached out to policing authorities, but CBSA obviously has a
critical role to play with respect to that concern, as well as the RCMP and
We have a witness coming up in the next panel who can perhaps more
adequately address that issue. I haven't heard of any negative feedback or
concerns expressed by anyone in the policing community, and certainly CBSA
has been a partner in the development of this legislation.
Senator White: Thanks again to all of you for being here,
particularly you, senator.
Senator Baker: When this law was passed back in 1985, we did not
intend for it to have such absurd an effect as it presently has. When we
passed the law — and I'm on record on this and so was Minister MacKay, as I
recall in 1985 — we both made the point and we're quoted in case law today
that that was not the intent of the legislation. Unfortunately, the Ontario
Court of Appeal, in a case called R. v. Cook, interpreted the
legislation as the officials were interpreting the legislation — that is, in
the wording that's there.
However, Senator Runciman, MP Gord Brown and Senator Patty Ritchie have
found support in the Federal Court of Canada. I just want to put this on the
record, Mr. Chairman. The Federal Court has intervened to say, in judgment
No. 962, a case called Flavell v. Deputy M.N.R., in which the
headnote says that the ministry is arguing that all goods brought into
Canada are being imported, even if acquired in Canada under section 12(1) of
the Customs Act; ordinary citizen not interpreting "imported'' in that way;
"imported'' implying goods of foreign origin; the ministry's interpretation
is having a punitive effect contrary to the values expressed in the act.
Then the Federal Court went on to say that where provisions are
ambiguous, they should be interpreted so as not to lead to absurd results.
To adopt the ministry's interpretation would be to promote that systemic,
differential treatment of unsuspecting, uninformed citizens in a punitive
So Ms. Ritchie, Senator Runciman and MP Brown do have support for these
changes from the Federal Court. Also, I am responsible for this bill as far
as the government representatives in the Senate are concerned.
I want to congratulate Senator Runciman for all the work that he's done
in coordinating the amendments with the government and with the Department
I am here to say that we now all support this piece of legislation and
hopefully, as Mr. Brown has pointed out, it will receive quick passage
through the Senate and then through the House of Commons, given that the
government has signified that they are now in support of Senator Runciman's
The Chair: Do you have any comments, Senator Runciman?
Senator Runciman: No, but I would thank Senator Baker again for
the research he does with respect to reading case law for many hours every
day. It is very helpful at committee — sometimes.
The Chair: Thank you, Senator Baker, for being so brief.
Senator Kenny: What comments have you had from the RCMP? The area
between Kingston and Cornwall is rife with smuggling. The RCMP has a special
detachment of 50 constables to address the problems, particularly related to
tobacco. I'd be curious to know what you've heard on this, Senator Runciman.
Senator Runciman: I did respond to this earlier, Senator Kenny. I
will be quite frank: I did not reach out to the RCMP because of the CBSA
approach to be supportive of this legislation with the changes that they
I did indicate that in the Cornwall to Kingston area, there has been
significant public attention paid to this issue and the legislation that has
been put forward and calls for this kind of legislation over the past few
years. Neither I nor Gord Brown has been approached by any policing agency
expressing concern that this may in some way make their jobs more difficult.
I can't see it having that impact but I have to say, senator, we did not
reach out to them. There are witnesses coming up in the next panel, perhaps,
or at least one witness on the security side that may be able to address
that more fully than I can.
Senator Kenny: I think as a committee we should ensure that the
RCMP has an opportunity to comment on this, chair.
In bringing in a lot of additional constables like the RCMP is doing in
the Cornwall area, the first thing that happens usually is displacement of
the criminal activity. It either goes upriver or downriver. But people know
it's not healthy to be doing it in the Cornwall area if there are that many
I think it would be worth getting that point of view from the police.
That might expedite the bill getting out of this committee, notwithstanding
what Senator Baker might have thought.
Senator Dagenais: My question is on the same topic as the one
raised by Senator Kenny.
I remember this very well because in the 1990s, I worked on the Akwesasne
reserve, and the St. Lawrence runs through it. I believe there were four
police forces that worked on this indigenous reserve at the time: the RCMP,
the Ontario Provincial Police, the New York State Police, and the Sûreté du
Québec, of course. This reserve goes from Quebec to the State of New York,
and through some of Ontario. Would there not be some way of ensuring
cooperation among the various police services and the Border Services
Agency? It is quite a strategic region, and as Senator Kenny mentioned,
whether we like it or not there is always contraband in cigarettes, and
perhaps other products that I don't have to discuss here.
Perhaps the next witnesses will be able to provide us with information on
what has been put in place. The Thousand Islands are a focal point for
leisure and tourism, but the Cornwall region is also used for other things,
The Chair: Perhaps I could ask a couple of questions before we
excuse the witnesses.
Senator Kenny: Please be brief, chair.
The Chair: I will be brief. My mentor Senator Baker is here, and I
always do what he says.
Perhaps, Senator Ritchie, I could put a question to you. You've heard
concerns on the other side of law enforcement, yet at the same time you
obviously have a federal statute — I believe it would be a federal statute —
in place that allows and permits Canadian pleasure craft to go over to the
American side and not be apprehended.
From your perspective and that of your law enforcement agencies, do they
have any concerns with the present law in place on the American side that
permits the present utilization of Canadian pleasure crafts and other
activities in those waterways? I had the pleasure of traversing those
waterways with Senator Runciman, and I understand the confusion.
Senator Ritchie: I actually did meet with our border patrol agency
to discuss this. Apparently, for years the Canadian officials did not
enforce this because we hadn't run into this before.
Once this came up, we did have a number of meetings to discuss it, to see
if maybe this was just a one-time incident that might have happened and that
there was confusion, but we were told that, no, now this was what was going
to happen. Canada was going to enforce the law in place, and if you were in
your boat and went over a few feet and crossed into Canadian territory
without knowing it, this was the potential.
That has not happened on our side. I have met with law enforcement, and
it's not an issue. It has not come up that that same thing would happen if a
Canadian were to come across to American waters.
As someone who lives there, this was a huge concern for many who live in
the area and also for many tourists who come up — and even those that have
charter businesses and rentals. If there's a boat rental, the first thing
people are told now is, "When you get out there, don't go too far from shore
because you don't know what's going to happen.'' Whether this story grew
into something that was more, I don't know, but it has garnered a lot of
Those who have lived in the area their entire life are now afraid to
venture out too far away from the shore because they don't know what's going
The Chair: So we can cut to the chase here, and so we have it on
the record clearly, there are no concerns from the point of view of the
legislation that is on the American side and the fact that pleasure boats
and other activities can go on? They can go on without being apprehended
other than the fact if they're doing something criminal, obviously. The fact
is that your law enforcement agents have no problems with it. Subsequently,
it would follow that on the Canadian side, the same should apply?
Senator Ritchie: I'm only a New York State representative, not a
federal representative. We met with our local law enforcement many times
after this happened. We did ask them to try to clarify with local residents
who were fearful about going back out in their boats. We have not heard
anything from law enforcement on our side that they would be opposed to this
happening or would expect that they would do anything similar to what
happened with the gentleman who crossed the water.
Senator Runciman: I'm just reflecting on this a little more. I
don't see how this is going to impact on policing in any way, shape or form.
When you think about the circumstances that we've been operating under, the
norm is that people are not stopped and have their boat seized. We're
talking about not anchoring or not mooring or not touching another boat. The
bill itself allows the authorities to intervene and stop, if they deem it's
I don't see this having any real impact in terms of increasing smuggling
in the St. Lawrence River area because the authority is retained. If the
circumstance justifies action, action can be taken.
The Chair: I want to get that clarified for the record on the
American side versus our side. I want to follow up, if I could, Senator
In the consultations that led to the actual drafting of the bill before
us, I would have assumed that the government departments involved in giving
advice to the drafting of the bill would have at least, if not officially,
unofficially touched base with the law enforcement agencies to see where
they would have a problem with a private member's bill. Is that not correct?
Senator Runciman: The ministry supporting this legislation is
responsible for the RCMP. I think that speaks volumes.
The Chair: Do you have anything further, Senator Runciman, that
you would like to leave with the committee?
Senator Runciman: No.
The Chair: I would like to thank our witnesses, and a special
welcome to Senator Ritchie. We really appreciate you coming in. We certainly
value your friendship. Hopefully, this is another piece of legislation, as
MP Brown has indicated, to harmonize both sides of the border, what we do
and what we should be doing.
Senator Runciman: Just to put on the record about Senator Ritchie
being here, she had to drive four and a half hours through a heck of a storm
last night from Albany to get to Ogdensburg, New York, to be here. So a
special thank you.
The Chair: A very special thank you. It was a nice way to come
back after being here in the sixth grade to now. I hope the highway has
Colleagues, we are now joined by Mr. Gary DeYoung, Tourism Director, 1000
Islands International Tourism Council; and Mr. Scott Newark, Public Policy
Consultant, DSN Consulting, who has worked on issues related to border
I understand that you each have an opening statement. Please begin, Mr.
Gary DeYoung, Tourism Director, 1000 Islands International Tourism
Council: Thank you, Mr. Chair and senators.
The Thousand Islands International Tourism Council was formed in 1956 to
promote tourism in the binational region of the Thousand Islands. It is a
partnership of Canadian and American stakeholders who see that collaboration
and cooperation are essential in drawing tourists to the region from across
The Ontario Ministry of Tourism estimates that 2014 visitor spending
totalled $946 million in its "Great Waterway'' region along eastern Ontario.
New York State estimates $497 million was spent by visitors in 2015 in a
similar region on the U.S. side. That spending supports thousands of
Canadian and American jobs.
The St. Lawrence River is the core attraction for the region. For
example, about 1 million tickets are sold annually for scenic boat tours of
the Thousand Islands. Private boating, fishing, diving and paddling on the
river are also popular. Signature attractions such as Brockville's
Aquatarium and the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, New York, are tourism
destinations based on the region's maritime heritage. In short, our region's
economy depends on its reputation as a boater-friendly destination.
The 2011 incident that Senator Runciman has discussed in relationship to
this legislation marked a change in traditional understanding and undermined
the region's reputation as a welcoming destination. Fairly or not, Americans
take the current policy as an affront and an indication that they are not
welcome in Canada.
Boaters are now faced with contradictory and confusing policies. On the
one hand, American authorities hold that simply cruising into Canadian
waters and returning to the U.S. does not constitute leaving the country. On
the other hand, Canadian authorities hold that these same trips should be
reported as border crossings.
Traditionally, the understanding was that an angler could drift fish in
both countries' waters as long as they held a valid state or provincial
licence and didn't go to anchor. But the Thousand Islands is a unique area
where the border zigzags among islands. It is not always easy to determine
one's position in relationship to the border, especially for visitors who
are not intimately familiar with the channels.
In light of the publicity surrounding the enforcement of the border
rules, some boaters have decided to simply avoid the area rather than deal
with the border. Ironically, what had been one of the region's strongest
selling points, cruising among the Thousand Islands, is now a drawback.
The situation is also a point of annoyance for anglers, and residents and
cottagers. The border can run very close to the shore of islands. Where I
live, the channel between New York and Wolfe Island, Ontario, is nearly two
kilometres wide. But the border runs less than 200 metres off the south
shore of Wolfe Island. To stay in Canada when boating, some Wolfe Islanders
need to avoid 90 per cent of the channel in front of their property.
The St. Lawrence River has shaped the culture of the Thousand Islands,
supported our economy and defined our sense of place. So while this bill may
simply seem an exercise in legal mechanics, it is truly a signal of respect
to Canadians and Americans that view the Thousand Islands as a broad
community they share.
In going back to the angler situation, we find that tournament organizers
now need to take into account what the border policy is. Charter captains
have changed their operations to avoid crossing the border, and some
fishermen are reluctant to visit the area for fear of accidentally running
afoul of officials.
It's difficult to quantify losses. Anecdotal evidence is that some
tournaments and individual anglers have stayed away. One indicator is the
number of short-term and non-resident fishing licences sold by vendors in
St. Lawrence County and Jefferson County, New York. Those are the two
counties that border the St. Lawrence and New York. Those are the type of
licences normally sold to tourists. In 2010, local sales of those licences
tallied over 18,000. In 2015, the same licences sales tallied less than
The bill that you are considering will codify rules on the St. Lawrence.
It will clear up confusion and align U.S. and Canadian policy. It will
encourage visitors to once again fully enjoy a great natural resource and
enhance our ability to sell a beautiful region to the world.
Thank you for considering this common sense change that mitigates the
impact of what some in the travel industry are calling "border hassles.''
The industry relies on effective public safety and values government
policies that protect both residents and visitors, but it is also very
susceptible to the negative impacts of policies that hinder the free flow of
travellers, whether through perception or practice.
The Chair: Thank you very much, sir.
We will now go to Mr. Newark.
Scott Newark, Public Policy Consultant, DSN Consulting: Thank you,
senators, for the invitation to be here. It is a particular honour to be
before this committee.
I have followed the work of this committee for a long time, going back
even to when I was the executive officer of the Canadian police association.
As some of you know, I was one of the people that did the review that led to
the arming of Canada Border Services Agency officers, which, to put it
mildly, was not particularly well received by CBSA officials at the time. It
was this committee that posed precise questions in relation to some of the
enforcement issues and exposed things that people weren't really aware of in
terms of deficiencies, which led to a lot of improvements.
Most recently, there was the work on the CBSA study that you did on
national security. It is sincerely an honour to be present in front of this
committee which has this history and the kind of work that this committee
does. I know sometimes when you're in the middle of it, you can escape it,
but, trust me, the work that you do is incredibly important in ensuring that
we have substantive and operationally effective policies.
I have to confess that, like Senator Runciman, I live in Brockville, but
I am not a boater.
The Chair: You don't have a conflict of interest?
Mr. Newark: I don't think so. As I say, a lot of my friends
actually are boaters. What they described in terms of the outrage when this
incident happened was real. People couldn't believe it.
Brockville is relatively — I'd almost use the word conservative — set in
its ways. The fact that this was happening was an absolute shock to people.
To be blunt, my initial reaction was not so much about the inconvenience
of the boaters but from a law enforcement perspective, if you will. What
were our CBSA officers doing, stopping somebody who was coming through and
had crossed over the water? Why were they doing that instead of, for
example, doing mobile enforcement work between ports of entry, which they're
not allowed to do; or participating in the Shiprider program, which they're
not allowed to do? That's what struck me about it, namely, what a waste of
operational resources to have people engaged in this kind of behaviour when
there is significantly more important work that could and should be done.
I remember one time immediately after 9/11 when then Minister Runciman,
myself and then Toronto Police Chief Julian Fantino were travelling to
Washington for something. There was enhanced security as we were going
through the airport, to put it mildly. It struck me at the time — and I
think it's relevant to the issue when this was being done — that more
security is not necessarily better security. That's what strikes me about
having dedicated and devoted resources from the CBSA. I think the
description you got from some of the witnesses was quite accurate, that once
this happened and the outrage was there, the CBSA doubled down on the
position that it was taking.
What is really important about this bill is that, number one, it leaves
that residual discretionary authority for officers to enforce in the
strictest level, if you will. Even more so, it has specifically identified
exceptions whereby this new exemption will not apply, for example, if you
land in the other country. That's fairly obvious; we should have that
restriction. If you're actually anchoring, that's an issue that at least
attracts some attention. The one that I think is the most significant is
boats coming together.
The study on "arming'' was launched by the frontline officers' union. I
continue to do work with them as well as with different security technology
companies that are specifically related to border security and to some of
the things that this bill deals with. For example, given that this is now
what will potentially be the law and you've got these exceptions, how are we
going to detect that those boats coming together is actually happening?
The good news is that there are ways to do that. I can get into that in a
little bit. That was part of the Beyond the Border agreement and action
plan, where Canada and the United States jointly developed an assessment of
gaps and vulnerabilities. That was completed.
Also in the agreement was important language which said that the two
countries would jointly — and I emphasize the word "jointly'' — procure and
deploy technologies to be able to deal with the vulnerabilities that were
That has not actually taken place. It looked as though it was going to in
2013. I can get into the details about it specifically, but this kind of
legislation, with a greater focus on what the better priorities are in
relation to border security issues, may be an opportunity to ask some
pointed questions about why we aren't doing this and why we haven't gotten
this done, and making sure the front-line officers have the tools they need
to deal with the reality of cross-border smuggling. Because it is real —
there's no question about that. This would potentially free up personnel
resources to assist in that important work.
The legislation itself, as I say, retained the overall discretion, and it
has specific exceptions to it, too. I don't think there's anything
necessarily to be concerned about in relation to the fact that some of the
definitions are left to regulation. So it is something that I think would
improve the targeting of resources and priorities. There are other
operational things that we can actually do that don't require legislation
and will actually assist in the ultimate goal of the coexistence of
legitimate trade and travel and intelligence-led security.
I want to close on that point. Canada has a significant history of
intelligence-led enforcement and of joint force operations. All you have to
do if you're considering border security is to look at a map of the
Canada-U.S. border. We don't have the resources to have everybody there, so
intelligence-led enforcement is a fundamental of how we do things, and I
think this legislation actually supports it.
The Chair: Thank you very much. Just to emphasize that element
before we go to the questioners, we not only share the border; we share the
defence of North America with our neighbours in the United States of
America. I think that's an important principle to understand, and that
transcends itself to the question of the Canada Border Services Agency, as
well as American customs and how we do it.
One thing I would like to leave on the record before I go further is the
question of some of the officers and how they enforce the law and approach
individuals. I think we have, in some cases, problems on both sides of the
border with respect to those situations where common sense should apply, and
it doesn't. That doesn't help to make friends between us when those
situations occur. We could speak about those later.
We will start with Senator Wallin.
Senator Wallin: I have two questions. One of them might not be
that quick, and we could have asked it of the earlier witnesses, about the
doubling down, as you described, by the CBSA. It seems to have come from one
incident, because there are no such other dramatic incidents. They were
challenged on that and the fine had to be reduced. They got their backs up
and said, "Watch this space.'' Is that the psychology of where we got to on
Mr. Newark: That was my impression, watching from afar.
That's one of the other things: I've never seen any empirical data that
shows that boaters going back and forth across the border somehow are a
crime threat. I've never seen any empirical data on that whatsoever. CBSA
put out a policy and it was rooted in the wording of the law that they had
the authority to do it, but as you say, there did appear to be this single
incident that caused some ruffled feathers, as it were.
Senator Wallin: Perhaps my more substantive question can be more
easily explained. Some things are left to regulatory definition, and one of
those is making contact, which is pretty wide open. That could be throwing
something from one boat to another. It could be waving. Who gets to decide?
Mr. Newark: That's in the regulatory authority, but I can tell you
specifically that the issue of boats coming together has been identified by
law enforcement, to one of the technology companies that I do some work
with, as a big red flag, whether it's people being smuggled, drugs, guns or
anything else, because they're coming from opposite sides. When they're
coming from opposite sides of the border and they come together, the police
need to be alerted.
One of the great challenges, unlike a lot of war or military
environments, is not that you're looking at a single target; you recognize
that single target coming towards your facility is a threat. It's that you
have a gazillion boats out there. You need to be looking for the behaviours
that raise those red flags. That is generally known, in my experience in law
enforcement, and we do have technology that is working and currently in
place with law enforcement organizations throughout Canada, particularly in
the Great Lakes. I can give you more detail about that if you're interested.
Senator Saint-Germain: Regarding this technology, this is what
interests me also. Mr. Newark, at one time you were involved as a consultant
in a Defence Research and Development Canada study on the use of networked
small radars to provide situational awareness of the maritime environment
around the G20 summit held near Lake Ontario in 2010. This radar used in the
study was provided by a company called Accipiter, which has offices in New
York and Ontario and describes itself as a "North American company.''
This study found that:
. . . the networked radar technology increased the operational
effectiveness as well as cost-effectiveness of the marine security
efforts. Because of the maritime domain awareness and common operating
picture provided, the users reported that vessel interdictions occurred
during the Summit that may otherwise not have occurred. The technology
was successful in detecting and tracking vessels of interest with
respect to cross border activity.
How, in your view, would reporting exemptions proposed in Bill
S-233impact situational awareness in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway
Mr. Newark: As I said, I'm glad to see that there are definitions
of the exceptions to the general rule that you don't have to report.
You're absolutely correct: There's a bit of a history to the DRDC study.
Accipiter, which one of the companies I do work with, makes really cool,
automated analytical radar so that police can tell the technology what we're
interested in. The two boats coming together was an example: They
pre-programmed the software so it was tracking all the vessels. When it sees
that, it generates an automated alert to law enforcement so law enforcement
can decide whether they want to go ahead and actually look at it.
The company was headquartered in Fonthill, in the Niagara Peninsula, and
had received a grant from what, in those days, was called the Public
Security Technical Program, or PSTP, which is part of the DRDC. It set up
this unit at the Marine Security Operations Centre run by the RCMP in the
western Great Lakes. When the G20 summit came at the last second — if you
remember, they decided to move it to Toronto — everybody scrambled around
how they were going to get marine domain awareness.
I think it was the RCMP that realized, "We have this unit here.'' So they
checked around and the company had one on its roof and another at some
protected site around Hamilton, I think. It actually had radar nodes at the
Toronto Island airport for bird strikes. They were able to pull the whole
thing together and it was successful.
After the fact, when the DRDC realized it was successful, there was a
debrief on it. They asked me if I would help them do a review of it in more
detail than normal, so I interviewed the officers from the different police
units involved in it to help prepare the report.
Where I think it will be relevant to the stuff in this bill is that the
same kind of lessons learned that came out of the G20 summit, in the sense
of what we can do to have that greater intelligence awareness and to make
marine domain awareness — and also low-flying aircraft, by the way, like
drones too — will apply to this. That will not be legislative. You don't
need legislation to do that.
The company did a study with, I think, the New York State police years
ago, and they were detecting vessels coming from Canadian waters that
crossed the border. That was the first alert. They didn't necessarily engage
and send anybody out because a thousand boats were doing that. But as they
came closer to the U.S. border, that generated a second alert. Then, if they
were heading toward a non-designated port of entry in the U.S., that's when
they dispatched either a boat or, if they didn't have it, a vehicle to meet
the guys at the dock. That's the kind of stuff that I think we could
The good news is that back in 2013, as part of what I believe was the
fulfillment of the Beyond the Border agreement, it was announced that the
RCMP was given $92 million for anti-tobacco smuggling to deploy sensors from
the Quebec-Maine to the Oakville border. Nothing happened. In 2014, it was
re-announced — I was at the conference — as the Border Integrity Technology
Enhancement Program, or BITEP, $92 million to do exactly the same thing; it
just got reprofiled.
It's never been done. It hasn't actually been deployed. I've heard
different versions as to whether or not there were procurement problems in
the RCMP or institutional competition in U.S. agencies. But that is designed
to deploy those sensor technologies across that area of borders that would
mean we would help enable the kind of stuff that has been identified in this
bill. I think there are actually some resources out there and some
mechanisms to help make the bill even more effective in what it intends to
Senator Wallin: I have a follow-up, and I think you've answered
it. Is that technology in play?
Mr. Newark: Yes.
Senator Dagenais: I'd like to get back to the matter of
technology. I believe I understood that you were with the Canadian Police
Association. In the Cornwall region, there must be a protocol for police
surveillance, either from the Quebec forces, Ontario, the RCMP or the border
On Lake Champlain it is relatively easy for the Border Services Agency to
board vessels. In other words, there's no demarcation line. Yet the border
is easier to locate on Lake Champlain. Certain ships were detected by radar.
Is technology being used on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway?
Many ships coming from Cornwall have to go through the St. Catherine locks
in Montreal. Their passage is recorded, but afterwards we don't know what
happens to them on the river. Do you know if technology is used on parts of
the St. Lawrence River, such as the Seaway or the Great Lakes?
Mr. Newark: Yes. It's at the MSOC in western Great Lakes, Lake
Ontario, which is a joint force RCMP, CBSA, Department of National Defence,
Fisheries and Oceans. It is also now increasingly deployed in the Windsor
Lakes/St. Clair area, and there was a cross-border deployment in Quebec at
an inland cross-border lake. It comes in different nodes. There are fixed
and mobile nodes, trailers, that the RCMP has. You're quite correct in the
relevance of its application in the Cornwall area.
The Chair: I'd like to follow up on this, because we keep talking
about the Canadian agencies and primarily the RCMP. But we haven't talked
about the American responsibility, because they do have their
responsibilities in the same area.
Mr. DeYoung, do you have any information with respect to exactly what's
happening on the American side? We don't need two drones in the same place.
Mr. DeYoung: I'm a tourism promotion guy. I can tell you there's a
lot of law enforcement presence on the American side, both at the state and
federal level, Coast Guard, customs and immigration, state patrol. Even the
county sheriffs are on the water with boats and eyes.
Mr. Newark: Especially in the Detroit area, there is U.S. pickup
on the use of the technology, and also on a border farther south than the
Canada-U.S. border, on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The point you make about the importance of it being a joint deployment
is, in my opinion, absolutely critical, because we don't need for us to have
one system and for them to have another system, and then we try to figure
out how we're going to integrate the systems. Part of the genius of the
Beyond the Border agreement was the amount of detail it included,
specifically in relation to those kinds of joint efforts. Not only will you
more effectively increase the deployment efficiency, but also at half the
The other thing learned as part of this study was that there are multiple
uses for it other than just border security. For example, the nodes they
used were for bird strikes on the Toronto Island airport. They didn't need
the border security information, but their radar nodes could plug into the
larger system to give broader coverage.
If you're at a seaport or at a marine situate nuclear power plant, they
have perimeter security issues that they want to know about. They get that
information, but they plug into the larger system to reduce the single
costs, spread the costs out and actually get the broader and faster
deployment of it. That was one of the things that several of the police
officers that I interviewed, the agencies, commented on as well. They saw
the value of that.
It was a good example of the importance of some of the policy
implications, because one of their complaints was that it was so difficult
to get authorizations to share information. There was this sort of reflex
"no can do'' approach to things.
As part of that, I ended up doing a study on authorizations for
information sharing amongst law enforcement agencies, so the RCMP Act, the
CBSA Act, IRPA, and the provincial Police Services Act, as well as the
Privacy Act. There are an awful lot of authorizations for law enforcement or
security-based information sharing. My favourite in the Privacy Act is
section 8(2)(m), which says that the holder of what is otherwise personal
information can share it or release it if they determine that the public
interest in releasing the information outweighs the privacy interest in
concealing it. When you're talking about law enforcement and security,
frankly, that is something that makes a pretty good argument in terms of why
we should be sharing some of this information.
Senator Beyak: Thank you, gentlemen. My questions were the same as
the first panel, about the public consultation and the support of Canada for
these changes, and you've answered them pretty well by telling me about the
outrage that Canadians felt over the double standard. Is there anything
you'd like to add?
Mr. DeYoung: I can just say that in my memory, going back to 2011,
our agency worked with other American organizations, such as the Antique
Boat Museum in Clayton. We filled a room at the Antique Boat Museum in
Clayton with 50 or 60 boaters, charter captains. We invited both the CBSA
and the American authorities in to answer questions. The clear consensus of
both the American and Canadian boaters was that they took affront at this.
It was against their tradition. Though it's going back six years now, I
don't think the opinions have changed too much.
The Chair: Mr. DeYoung, you mentioned in your opening address that
we've seen a decline in fishing licences from 18,000 to 10,000 — I think
that was the number — which is pretty substantial. I take it from those
numbers that Canadians are buying the licences and that's basically who
you're catering to on the American side. The way I understand it is that if
I lived there, I would have both a Canadian and American licence, so there
wouldn't be any question whose fish it was. Is that correct?
Mr. DeYoung: Correct. If you went to the St. Lawrence and intended
to fish in both Ontario and New York waters, you would have a licence for
the province and a licence for New York. There is no reciprocity there. Most
of those licences I was talking about were people coming for a short time. A
lot of those were New Yorkers and Ontarians, but it is also a very popular
region for Pennsylvania fishermen. Americans from out of state come to the
region and in particular find it very confusing.
The Chair: Do you have a reciprocity arrangement in the case of
the Province of Ontario and New York?
Mr. DeYoung: Not for fishing licences, no.
The Chair: Just for your information, I represent the Yukon, and
we have a reciprocity agreement between Alaska and Yukon in respect to the
purchase of fishing licences. You still have to purchase a fishing licence,
but you don't have to pay out-of-state fees. You're seen as a resident and
they're seen as a resident in our region. It works very well. I pass that on
to you as another area where people can work together as neighbours.
Mr. Newark, I want to follow up on the fact that the law presently in
place on the American side is basically the same law and enforcement that we
want on the Canadian side. My understanding is that on the American side,
they're quite happy with the way they're enforcing their laws in allowing
and permitting these pleasure crafts and others to go about their business
without fear of being apprehended. Is that correct?
Mr. Newark: I've never heard anything to the contrary, sir, but
the interactions I've had have been with law enforcement. It's been focused
on the law enforcement issues. I've never had anybody raise with me that
these recreational boaters were a major problem.
There are definitely cross-border smuggling issues, and I can tell you
that, as recent events have proven, the illegal crossing of our border will
be worth keeping an eye on. It's not going to be confined to one domain or
another. You will need that intelligence awareness as well, too. That's down
the road, though.
The Chair: Colleagues, I want to thank the witnesses, especially
Mr. DeYoung, who has travelled so far to be with us. We're so pleased to be
able to host you.
Thank you, Mr. Newark, for your wealth of information in view of your
past history and your various occupations over a long period of time. We
value your advice.
Colleagues, we will probably bring the bill back to the committee towards
the end of February. I'm going to try to see if we can expedite it as
quickly as we can in order that the Senate can consider it so that it can go
to the House of Commons for consideration. It will take a lot of cooperation
to move the bill along.
Once again, thank you very much.
(The committee adjourned.)