Canadian transportation official: ‘One-way travel’ tool is ‘best system ever devised’

A key Canadian federal transportation official on Wednesday described the current formula used to allocate U.S. border security lanes at the Peace Bridge as the “best system ever devised”. American officials announced on Wednesday…

Canadian transportation official: 'One-way travel' tool is 'best system ever devised'

A key Canadian federal transportation official on Wednesday described the current formula used to allocate U.S. border security lanes at the Peace Bridge as the “best system ever devised”.

American officials announced on Wednesday that they have raised concerns to Canada about its handling of tests for travellers headed to the U.S. between Buffalo and Detroit.

Until the new “one-way travel” rule came into effect last week, some travellers at the border were required to undergo extra, additional security measures before being able to cross.

A spokesperson for Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said CBSA “has been in communication with Customs and Border Protection, who have recently raised concerns with us regarding test usage at the Peace Bridge.”

CBP spokesperson Marie Dorval said tests for border security purposes are a matter of trust, so CBSA must be able to trust the testing process before “handing out inspection waivers.”

But CBSA’s regional director general, Dennis Malloy, described the current system as the “best system ever devised” and one that is “free and fair” for travellers.

Malloy said the testing process “had been in place for decades before this latest round of testing started last summer.

“The protocols and their quality standards were put in place, and there was no reason to change them,” Malloy told reporters.

He noted that when new protocols were set up a couple of years ago, they were quickly met with Canadian approval.

“Overwhelmingly, the Canadian industry embraced that and felt the protocol was fair and consistent,” Malloy said.

But Dorval said the Canadian government wants “transparency, and we’re looking for a level playing field.”

“And that’s why we’ve requested the data collection,” she said.

Malloy said the test was never a focus of Ottawa or its border agency when it was weighing the benefits of the U.S.-Canada trade agreement.

“This testing never came up until really recently when we were drafting border security protocols following the new North American trade agreement,” he said.

“There was no reason to worry about it.”

“It was just added on top of this new heightened security protocols.”

When asked if Ottawa would meet an American request to hand over data on the travel tests to Washington, Malloy said that “the only data request that we are looking at is how often we’re accepting test waivers, how many waivers we’re giving out, and how many waivers we’ve given out.

“Once that information is shared, we will immediately share that information with them.”

But Malloy also went on to say that he has “heard very positive feedback” from U.S. border officials about the protocols and training procedures for traveling travelers.

Just last week, officials in the U.S. announced that they had raised concerns with Canada about the monitoring of test waivers at the Peace Bridge.

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