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Canada, U.S. Cooperate on Border Security

January 17, 2003

On Jan. 7, the FBI announced that reports of the five terrorists supposedly entering the U.S. from Canada were fabricated. But unfortunately, the damage done by the news reports and Michael Ramirez's Jan. 3 editorial cartoon continues to have a corrosive effect on how Americans perceive Canada. Nor is this the first time that Canada has been falsely accused of letting terrorists into the U.S. Media reports after 9/11 falsely suggested terrorists came through Canada.

We stand shoulder to shoulder in the campaign against terrorism. Canadians fought and died alongside Americans in Afghanistan. Canadian soldiers, sailors and pilots continue to be vigilant in Afghanistan and in the Indian Ocean. Working together, we are also securing North America. The "millennium bomber" was stopped and later convicted through the cooperative efforts of both nations' security forces. Through our "smart border" accord we have created integrated border enforcement to supplement ongoing national efforts.

Can we guarantee that no terrorist will enter North America? Or that we will be immune from "home-grown" terrorists? Sadly, no. Our openness and shared diversity present risks, but they are also our greatest strengths. Nor is confidence and security enhanced by hasty (and false) accusation. Mutual cooperation is the best way to ensure our common security.

Colin Robertson

Consul General of Canada

Los Angeles

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