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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

DAN ALBAS -- Some have suggested that these expanded powers may be contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms


One of the subjects that has been raised in many recent media headlines is renewed concerns of the expanded rights of United States border agents working in the “pre-clearance” area at Canadian airports.

Pre-clearance” applies to passengers departing Canadian airports for United States destinations.

The concerns are based on recent amendments to the laws that relate to the Canada / USA Pre-Clearance agreement. United States border agents working in Canadian pre-clearance zones now have many of the same rights and abilities similar to what exist at U.S land based border crossings.

Some have suggested that these expanded powers may be contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Critics have stated that “Justin Trudeau's government is empowering foreign officials and dis-empowering Canadian citizens. He is kowtowing to American imperialism.”

From my perspective this is an area where, despite my being a member of the official opposition, I believe that the Trudeau Liberal Government has created a necessary balance in order for pre-clearance to have the opportunity to work successfully.

If a citizen is going to be refused entry into the United States, for whatever reason, it is far more convenient for that refusal to occur in Canada at a pre-clearance location, as opposed to being refused entry after landing in the United States, where a subsequent deportation and related unplanned air travel costs could present a far more serious inconvenience.

In more extreme cases a citizen could be potentially held in the USA, pending deportation, creating an extremely stressful and unpleasant situation.

Pre-clearance here in Canada helps to increase efficiency and eliminate uncertainty, as well as mitigate the risks of dealing with an unexpected situation upon arrival in the United States.

For pre-clearance to work, it is understandable that the United States must have similar measures in place at all border crossings that provide entry into the country.

For these reasons, I believe the Liberal Government has achieved a balance that has resulted in the expansion of the pre-clearance program.

From most of the feedback I have received, pre-clearance has proven to be an easier, less stressful way to fly across the border for those citizens who decide to visit to the United States.



My question this week:

“Are you supportive of the pre-clearance program operating in Canadian airports for USA bound travelers?”

I can be reached at:
Email: Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca
Toll Free: 1-800-665-8711


Dan Albas is the Conservative Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan – Similkameen – Nicola.  He is currently the Shadow Minister for Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.

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