OTTAWA - May 24, 2013 —The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) on behalf of the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, announced today that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will proceed with a remote traveller processing pilot at Morses Line, Quebec, in April 2015. This pilot project is part of the Small and Remote Ports of Entry Initiative, one of the deliverables under the Beyond the Border Action Plan.
The objectives of the pilot are to test the viability and potential benefits of expanding remote traveller processing at select small and remote ports of entry as a way to maintain border integrity and access to needed border services while increasing efficiency.
"Through the Beyond the Border Action Plan, our government is committed to ensuring safe and efficient border crossings for Canadian and American travellers and trade," said Minister Bernier. "The pilot project at Morses Line will improve access to border services for travellers into Canada after regular hours of service, while maintaining high security standards."
The pilot project at Morses Line will use technology to process travellers remotely. This pilot project is only open to Canadian and American citizens, Canadian permanent residents and lawful permanent residents of the United States, and will not require any pre-registration. Security measures will be enhanced to ensure that risks are mitigated.
During the pilot project, travellers arriving at the port of entry after hours will be processed by a border services officer located at a remote processing centre through a two-way audio and one-way video kiosk. Cameras will be installed to provide the officer with the ability to see the traveller and the vehicle. No changes will occur during regular business hours and travellers will be processed according to normal procedures.
The Morses Line port of entry was chosen as a pilot site due to the low volume of commercial traffic and low traveller volumes processed on a daily basis. Further, the layout of the port of entry is such that remote technology could be installed to provide the required security measures. This is one of two pilot projects, with the other at the port of entry at Piney, Manitoba.
The CBSA will continue to enforce Canadian laws and perform its role in interdicting Criminal Code offences in the remote traveller processing environment. Law enforcement partners are supportive of the pilot and will continue to work with the CBSA as required.
On February 4, 2011, Prime Minister Harper and President Obama released the Beyond the Border Declaration, articulating a shared vision in which our countries work together to address threats at the earliest point possible while facilitating the legitimate movement of people and goods and services across our shared border. The Beyond the Border Action Plan, released in December 2011, outlines the specific steps our countries intend to take to achieve the security and economic competitiveness goals outlined in the Declaration.
For more information on the Beyond the Border Action Plan, please visit the Web site at www.actionplan.gc.ca/border.
For further information:
Canada Border Services Agency
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety