A chat about the Canada-U.S. border
The invitation came to a handful of Canadian journalists.
Thirty minutes, on the record, with Jane Holl Lute - the number two official in the United States Department of Homeland Security - while she was Ottawa this week to discuss U-S perspectives on the border with Canada.
Lute's position makes her a significant player in the department charged with protecting Americans from another terrorist attack.
She's someone in a position to offer meaningful insights into how the Obama administration will treat cross-border issues and how it will handle Canadians who go back and forth through what American politicians still love to call the world's longest undefended border.
The label comes even as the hurdles mount for Canadians travelers and goods heading into the U.S. Canadian business leaders call these hurdles a ''thickening'' of the border.
Lute doesn't like that word.
Or suggestions that the Obama Administration sees little difference dealing with the Canadian border and the challenges securing its border with Mexico.
Lute says there is no, ''one-size-fits-all'' approach.
But, she adds, security and safety remain paramount for Americans.
''We don't think you have to sacrifice safety and security for the kinds of economic vibrancy and trade, for the kind of norms and values that we share as societies. And you do have to strike a balance. But it also, I think, it takes a constant vigilance. And a constant attention. We can't take these things for granted in either direction.''
Canadians will have to get used to tighter security, more scrutiny and, starting June 1, producing a passport or other approved document at all border crossings.
— Chris Hall
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