NEXUS program 'held hostage' by Washington, says Canadian ambassador
The program was developed jointly by the Canada Border Services Agency and the United States Customs and Border Protection. United States.
Canada's Ambassador to the United States blames Americans for delays in reopening Canada's 13 NEXUS enrollment centers, while those in United States has been reopened since April.
Kirsten Hillman called the situation disappointing and frustrating.
There is an attempt to unilaterally renegotiate the terms of a 20-year-old program and the program is being taken over. hostage by this effort, Hillman said at a one-day summit on border issues between Canada and the United States, hosted at the Canadian Embassy in Washington.
The tactics used by the United States are very harsh and do not correspond to what has long been a cordial and cooperative relationship with Canada, she continued.
On must all recognize that the issues need to be worked on, but it will take time, and in the meantime, the whole program cannot be brought to its knees, essentially.
The NEXUS program was jointly established by the Canada Border Services Agency and the United States Customs and Border Protection.
It aims to expedite border crossings, both Canadian and American, for pre-approved, low-risk travellers.
These travelers must register at a center to obtain their NEXUS certificate.
Canada's Ambassador to the United States, Kirsten Hillman.
The facility closure stems from a disagreement over immunity from prosecution.
The US government argues that its employees at NEXUS offices deserve similar immunity from Canadian lawsuits when doing their jobs in Canada.
These protections already exist for US border agents at Canadian airports who work at preclearance sites. According to the United States, some of these NEXUS offices are located in the same facilities and it does not make sense for different rules to apply in different parts of the office.
The United States says it has repeatedly informed Canada for several years that this was a priority and that there was apparently little of progress.
This is not news, a spokesperson for the US Embassy in Ottawa said Thursday. The United States is ready to reopen NEXUS centers in Canada once Canada addresses these concerns.
Kirsten Hillman said Canada is ready to find a solution. But she added that it was a complicated issue and the solution might not even be possible under Canadian law. It's the tough US approach that it resents.
What I'm questioning are the tactics, to be honest with you. I think the tactics are heavy-handed and not representative of the relationship we have, the diplomat said.
According to her, there is currently a backlog of over 334,000 people waiting for a NEXUS card and the situation is getting worse every day.
With the information from La Canadian Press, and CBC