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Canada Expands Biometric Screening Measures to Better Protect its Borders PM Announces

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Thursday that a number of new measures that will increase the safety and security of Canadians are being implemented to protect Canada’s borders.

An announcement said, “Our government knows that the highest calling of any government is to ensure the safety and security of its citizens. To this end, the Prime Minister announced new support, under Economic Action Plan 2015, for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to increase the agency’s front-line capacity to combat the ever-evolving threat of terrorism. This funding will help support CSIS’ counter-terrorism capabilities to better identify and address threats from terrorists planning acts on Canadian soil or from would-be terrorists trying to travel abroad to commit such acts elsewhere.”

Harper also announced that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will strengthen their resources currently allocated to countering terrorist threats in order to better crack down on the financing of terrorist groups through registered charities in Canada.

“It will build on current efforts to detect and suppress terrorist financing activities in the charitable sector, to help legitimate charities better protect themselves against terrorist abuse and to ensure that the generous donations of hard-working Canadians are not being funneled to dangerous terrorist organizations,” the announcement stated.

Finally, Harper announced significant support over a five-year period to expand biometric screening measures to all foreign travelers entering Canada on a visa. These important measures will give Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials the tools they need to verify the identity of travelers and further improve the security and integrity of Canada’s borders.

“The brave men and women of our law enforcement and security agencies stand between the peace and order we treasure as Canadians, and the fear and anarchy our enemies would seek to unleash upon us. That is why I am proud to announce today these significant resources to ensure that those who work so diligently to keep us safe have the tools necessary to do so,” Harper said, noting, “We will continue to support those who put their lives on the line every day in order to ensure the safety of all Canadians and their families and to protect the values of freedom, justice, tolerance and openness that we cherish in Canada.”

Other actions that were earlier taken was Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2015, which committed significant support for intelligence and law enforcement agencies to ensure that they have the tools they need to protect Canadians and their families from the evolving threat of jihadi terrorism.

On May 21, 2015, Harper also announced increased support for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and CBSA to help ensure the safety and security of Canadians from terrorist threats.

Through measures included in Economic Action Plan 2015, including the Prevention of Terrorist Travel Act and amendments to the Canadian Passport Order, the government is taking action to strengthen Canada’s ability to cancel, refuse or revoke passports as a preventative measure against high-risk travelers.

Finally, the measures announced today are in addition to several pieces of legislation that the Canadian government has introduced or passed to help ensure the safety and security of Canadians, including the Anti-terrorism Act 2015, the Combating Terrorism Act in 2013, making important amendments to the Citizenship Act, the Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act, introducing the Prevention of Terrorist Travel Act and changes to the Canadian Passport Order.

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