Canada is a major step closer to arming its border-security
agents with the proposal of the federal budget Tuesday, May 2, by Finance
Minister Jim Flaherty.
Following up on an election promise, Prime Minister Stephen
Harper and his finance minister are set to include $100 million in the next
fiscal-year budget for border security that includes arming the guards.
As strange as it may sound to U.S. residents in a
post-September 11 world, Canada’s border agents have not traditionally carried
guns, much to the chagrin of their employees’ union.
Canadian border agents often have to call for local enforcement
officers when situations arise that require firearms.
Flaherty’s proposed budget includes $303 million to
implement more efficient trade mechanisms at the border as part of a $2.4
billion, five-year highway and border infrastructure plan.
The funding proposal means the Automated Commercial
Environment program, known as ACE, could very well make its way to the
forefront of cross-border trucking.
ACE uses transponder and computer technology to authorize
commercial traffic with pre-approved cargo at the border. It is designed to
increase the level of security and protection.
Flaherty’s budget includes numerous personal and corporate
tax reductions aimed at working people and businesses. Some taxes that are
collected will be restructured to meet with the Conservative Party agenda and
The Conservative Party won the January election and ousted
the Liberal Party after more than 13 years of Liberal rule.
– By David Tanner, staff writer