U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement by Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman
June 28, 2000
Canada-U.S. Partnership Forum Holds Successful Second Meeting
U.S. and Canadian government officials met with local private and public sector leaders to discuss border management issues on June 22-23 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Blaine, Washington. The meetings were the second to be held along the border under the Canada-U.S. Partnership Forum, following April 11-12 meetings in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York. Announced in October 1999 by President Clinton and Prime Minister Chretien, the Canada-U.S. Partnership is promoting an integrated, binational approach to building a border for the 21st Century. The Canada-U.S. Partnership is drawing upon the knowledge, expertise and ideas of a multi-faceted group of U.S. and Canadian citizens. Participants in the meetings held in Vancouver were enthusiastic about this initiative, and had a constructive, detailed exchange of views on movement of people, movement of goods, transportation infrastructure, and border security. The meeting in Blaine focused on bi-national law enforcement cooperation in the border area, including the Integrated Border Enforcement Team.
The Canada-U.S. Partnership meetings are being co-chaired by Ambassador Peter Romero, Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs in the U.S. State Department, and Mr. George Haynal, Assistant Deputy Minister, Americas, Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs. Private sector participants in Vancouver included representatives of cross-border companies, the transportation and tourism sectors, and academic institutions. Locally based public sector participants included Members of Parliament, members of the British Columbia provincial legislature, a member of the Alaska legislature, the mayors of Vancouver and Burnaby, British Columbia, state government officials from Washington State, and provincial government officials from British Columbia and Alberta. Other federal government participants included senior officials from the U.S. Customs Service, the Canadian Customs and Revenue Agency, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Canadian Solicitor General's Office, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Transport Canada.