LINKS Sept. 14, 2011


Detroit bridge owner gets Koch help [Bloomberg]

More secure passports coming next year [CP]

US federal prosecutors discuss northern border issues [WSJ]

Holder: Officers from US, Canada will work on cross-border investigations [AP]

Harper, Obama to give details of border security deal [Postmedia News]

Much good has come from tightened border security [Peace Arch News]


Ottawa says it will fight Buy American measures [Toronto Star]

US envoy says trade with Canada is top issue [AP]

Canadians anxious about Buy American provisions in Obama’s jobs bill [CP]

Geithner: Economy in an early stage of crisis [Real Clear Politics]

Obama declares ‘national emergency’ for jobs [Politico]

Strong Cdn dollar not only reason for shopping in US [CBC]

Weak job market has Canadians looking north [Postmedia News]

US media juggernaut still a threat to Canada [Troy Media News]

Cdn doctors still make dramatically less than US counterparts: study [National Post]


Doer says he won’t run for NDP leadership [Toronto Star]


Canada to extend Libya mission by 3 months [CTV]

Canadian companies will benefit from military intervention: Libyan official [Postmedia News]

NATO balks at Libya nation-building, policing [AP]


Oliver stumps for Keystone pipeline in California [CP]

Peter Lougheed opposes Keystone pipeline [CBC]

Yedlin: Lougheed comment sparks pipeline debate [Calgary Herald]

Oil patch steams ahead [Financial Post]

Tar-sands showdown [Wired]

10 reasons why the Keystone pipeline will be built [National Review]

Over 1,200 Keystone protesters arrested [Living on Earth]


LINKS Sept. 7, 2011


Border agent says there’s nothing to do, money is being wasted [CNN]

Canada dropped $92-billion on security post-9/11 [Postmedia News]

Canadian trucker admits smuggling cocaine from US [AP]

Tragedy forged new reality [CP]

Schumer calls on Feds to move ahead with joint border crossing []

Hampson: 9/11 and the Remaking of Canada []

Robertson: The border: The bygone days of ‘pass friend’ [Embassy mag]

After 9/11, border patrol doubles, fewer tourists cross border, more criminals caught [Detroit Free Press]

More Canadian manufacturers encountering difficulty as they try to cross into the US [NB Business Journal]

Georgia man stays in jail after border child porn bust [Winnipeg Sun]


Flaherty wants probe into ‘irritating’ US-Canada price gaps [Postmedia News]

How Canadians get access to US-only deals [Globe and Mail]

Is the US ready for Little Mosque on the Prairie [BBC]

Canadian dealers get ‘carve out’ from US regulations [Financial Post]


Lt. Gen. Bouchard assesses NATO’s mission in Libya [NPR]

Plan would keep small force in Iraq past deadline [NY Times]


Sen. Johannes, second prominent Nebraska Republican opposes Keystone pipeline [Des Moines Register]

Study: Tar sands oil will reach US sans pipeline [Forbes]

Oil sands need US workers: Alberta minister [Bloomberg]

Dalai Lama joins Keystone pipeline opponents [Calgary Sun]

McKibben: What comes next for oil sands action []

Nobel Laureates urge Obama to reject pipeline [Huffington Post]

Canada minister ‘increasingly optimistic’ about Keystone approval [Dow Jones]

Cdn ambassador confident pipeline will be approved for jobs [Postmedia News]

Oil-funded study: more drilling would add 1.4 million jobs [Reuters]

Are Canadians growing apathetic about the oil sands? [Huffington Post]

Keystone XL benefactor to send oil overseas [Michigan Messenger]

Letter to Oprah Winfrey on ‘ethical oil’ ads []



My interview with Rep. Miller after House border hearing

February 15, 2011

Today Candice Miller, a Republican congresswoman from Michigan who chairs the Border and Maritime Security subcommittee of the House Committee on Homeland Security, held a hearing looking into the GAO report that said the Department of Homeland Security has “operational control” of only 32 miles of the US-Canada border.

You can watch the hearing and read the official testimony at the Committee’s website. I have also archived the written testimony here.

The Chief of the US Customs and Border Patrol, Michael Fisher, said that the way DHS has been measuring “operational control” is “outdated” because it does not reflect partnership (such as with Canadian law enforcement agencies) and does not reflect the heavy use of technology.

After the hearing, I spoke briefly with Rep. Miller, who chaired the hearing, about the Harper-Obama “perimeter security” vision and the GAO report:

Q—What do you expect from the vision on perimeter security? What do you think will come out of it? It seems like a vague notion right now.

A—It is vague. As we think about what our GAO report was about, some of the challenges we have along the northern border from a security, operational control perspective, we always have to keep in mind that Canada is our best ally, our biggest trading partner, our friends and our neighbors, and as we look to border security, we obviously need to recognize that we have a very huge interest, a priority interest in making sure that commerce and passengers can travel across our borders expeditiously. Thickening of the border is an issue we must always keep upmost in our minds.

Q—What results do you want to see out of this vision? How does it translate into changes on the ground?

A—First of all, the US-Canadian agreement called for a working committee. I’m not quite certain who’s going to be on the working committee, and where they are going with their entire work product. We hope – not only myself, but I’m sure other members of this committee and other members of Congress –  will want to have some input into what they’re putting together.

As I say, I think we have to be cognizant of the ability to expedite commerce. For instance, in the sector I’m most familiar with, in the Detroit sector, where we have such a long liquid border with Canada. One of the things that have worked well, that we could expand, I think, is something called Shiprider. That has been a wonderful program between the US and Canada, relatively new, that I think could have a great expansion where both nations feel a great level of security by that.

Q –A big expansion to where?

A—They could utilize throughout the entire Great Lakes basin. Use it more. Use it as a component, perhaps, for measuring operational control.

Q—On that GAO report, is the definition of “operational control” too narrow?

A–That was the thrust of this hearing. One of the things we have found here is that our Customs and Border Patrol is using a different level of measurement than our law has actually called for. That’s what happens with these hearings. All of a sudden you uncover something else that sends you in a different direction. One of my concerns is that they are not weighing as a measurement component, heavily enough on technology. This is something that has to be utilized heavily on the northern border. We’re not going to build a fence.

Q – And they’re not counting what Canada does, yet this is a partnership.

A—For example, Shiprider is a great program and I’m not sure they are using that in their measurement matrix. I didn’t see it in the GAO report.

Q – It sounds like maybe they are missing pieces of the bigger picture.

A – I think so.


You can follow me on Twitter at luizachsavage

[Cross-posted from Savage Washington at]

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