I took a petit vacation to Quebec City for the long holiday weekend and I must say, those French Canadians are crazy - in a fun way, of course. Actually, I might be a little crazy too for traveling farther North in February, but it was the last weekend of Carnival and I wanted to say goodbye to Bonhomme. If you haven't had a chance to experience Carnival, I highly recommend you check it out. I can't help but appreciate people who instead of suffering and whining about winter, choose to throw a huge 17-day outdoor party. If you go, just be sure to wear the warmest clothes you own (people wear their snowsuits, so don't worry about fashion).
Anyway, so, of course, going to Canada means crossing the border. I grew up near the border in Vermont and I know that it's usually a lot easier to get into Canada than to get out, but luckily we didn't have any problems or long waits. However, when I got back to the office this article caught my eye.
The article is about a new paper released this week by the Canadian International Council which highlights the importance of border collaboration and argues that working together can not only improve border security, but also have economic impacts as well.
Since 2001, border management in the United States has been dominated by security and law enforcement perspectives, but the author [Geoffrey Hale] argues for a much broader review of border management policies to ensure Canadian and American administrations optimize cross-border collaboration, while containing and reducing identified risks to their citizens and pursuing policies that contribute to their broader economic well-being and security.
In his paper, Dr. Hale further argues Canadians and Americans must jointly:
1. Show effective leadership to drive necessary investments in new infrastructure and technologies and strengthen cooperation among departmental agencies and orders of government.
2. Further ensure full and joint capacity-building for the processing of goods and persons, especially at border crossings that operate on a 24/7 basis.
3. Immediately improve the coordination of trusted shipper programs to better harmonize entry requirements, reduce duplication of services and implement additional land pre-clearance projects.
President Obama is set to visit Canada soon and I'm sure this will be one of the many things on the agenda.