OTTAWA, May 30, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Vic
Toews, Minister of Public Safety, along with Ray LaHood, Secretary of
the United States Department of Transportation, and Janet Napolitano,
Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security,
released today the first-ever joint Canada-United States Border
Infrastructure Investment Plan (BIIP). The development and release of
this initiative fulfills a commitment made under the 2011 Canada-United
States Beyond the Border Action Plan.
"Modern border crossings are essential to the efficient flow of trade
and travellers, which is why the Border Infrastructure Investment Plan
and the collaborative relationship with our American neighbours are so
important," said Minister Lebel. "Our government is investing in border
crossings, ports and gateways to reduce wait times, increase trade and
"This first, joint U.S.-Canada binational plan shows that our
collaborative approach to border planning, which includes feedback from
our local partners, will serve both of our countries well and ensures
that we are working together on our common interests," said Secretary
The BIIP is an interagency and binational planning mechanism developed
to establish a mutual understanding of recent, ongoing and potential
border infrastructure investments. It outlines the approach that
Canada and the United States will take to coordinate plans for physical
infrastructure upgrades at small and remote ports of entry. This
initiative will be updated and disseminated annually.
"Our two governments are committed to enhancing our mutual security and
economic prosperity through significant investments at key crossings,"
said Minister Toews. "These investments will reduce border delays,
expedite trade across our shared border, and allow the Canada Border
Services Agency to focus on facilitating the flow of low-risk people
and goods while keeping the border open to legitimate trade and
"An integrated, bilateral approach to border investment is critical to
both the U.S. and Canadian economies," said DHS Secretary Napolitano.
"The BIIP offers enhanced security along our shared U.S.-Canadian
border, while reducing wait times at major border crossings—increasing
the flow of traffic across the border while ensuring safe and secure
trade and travel."
The BIIP, along with other initiatives under the Beyond the Border Action Plan, is designed to benefit the integrated economies of Canada and the
United States, which depend on the fluid movement of commercial and
non-commercial traffic across our shared border. Its release follows
recent announcements by the Government of Canada of significant
investments at four initial priority land ports of entry identified by
Canada in the Action Plan: Lacolle, Quebec; Lansdowne, Ontario (Thousand Islands Bridge);
Emerson, Manitoba; and North Portal, Saskatchewan. The modernization of
major border crossings will reduce wait times, increase reliability of
just-in-time shipments, and decrease fuel consumption and greenhouse
gas emissions. Canada and the United States enjoy the world's largest
trading partnership, with two-way merchandise trade totalling $570
billion in 2012.
In addition, the Government of Canada announced, in July 2012, the
installation of technology to measure and report border wait times at
the Peace and Queenston-Lewiston Bridges. The $1.7-million project was
completed in partnership with United States Customs and Border
Protection, the United States Federal Highway Administration and the
Canada Border Services Agency.
Further information on the Beyond the Border Action Plan is available at www.dhs.gov/beyond-the-border and www.actionplan.gc.ca/border.
SOURCE: Transport Canada
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety
U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Transport Canada, Ottawa
Public Safety Canada