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Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced a number of measures that will increase the safety and security of Canadians

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced a number of measures that will increase the safety and security of Canadians. He was joined by Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Eglinton-Lawrence.

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.

Prime Minister 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.

Finally, the Prime Minister Harper announced significant support over a five-year period to expand biometric screening measures to all foreign travellers 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 travellers and further improve the security and integrity of our borders.

Quick Facts

• Economic Action Plan 2015 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, Prime Minister Harper announced increased support for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the 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 travellers.
• The measures announced today are in addition to several pieces of legislation that our 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.

Quote

“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. 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.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Related Products

• Additional Support to CSIS and CRA to Counter Terrorism
• New Resources to Expand Biometric Screening Measures to Better Protect our Borders

Associated Links

• 2014 Public Report On The Terrorist Threat To Canada
• Anti-terrorism Act, 2015
• Building Resilience Against Terrorism: Canada’s Counter-terrorism Strategy
• Combating Terrorism Act
• Economic Action Plan 2015
• Prime Minister Announces Additional Support to Counter Terrorism
• Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act
• Strengthening Canadian Citizenship


Backgrounder

NEW RESOURCES TO EXPAND BIOMETRIC SCREENING MEASURES TO BETTER PROTECT OUR BORDERS

Current biometrics screening has proven to be a reliable, cost-effective tool for Canada’s immigration and border officials to readily confirm a person’s identity. As a result, Canada has been able to identify and deny entry to known criminals, previously denied refugee claimants, and individuals previously deported. Additional steps are now at Canada’s disposal to further improve the security and integrity of Canada’s immigration system and border.

To this end, Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced $312.6 million over five years to expand biometric screening measures to all foreign travellers entering Canada on a visa. These important measures will give officials the tools they need to verify the identity of travellers and further improve the security and integrity of our borders.

This increased support will expand biometric screening to all foreign nationals (excluding U.S. citizens) applying for a work or study permit, as well as those applying for temporary (visitor visa) or permanent residency in Canada. It will come into effect once supporting legislative and regulatory amendments are finalized. It is expected to be in place by 2018-2019. The initiative will be implemented jointly by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and Shared Services Canada (SSC).

Expanding the use of biometrics in our immigration and border screening processes will strengthen the safety and security of Canadians by reducing identity fraud and preventing the entry of inadmissible people, including known criminals to Canada, while ensuring that Canada’s borders remain open for trade.

The expanded biometric screening program will be convenient for travellers who will be able to provide their biometrics at 180 biometric collection service points in 94 countries, with an additional 135 biometrics collection service points across the U.S.

How biometric immigration screening will work:

Activity

1. Applicants provide their biometrics:


2. Application screening:






3. Arrival processing:




4. Refugee claims:





5. Detention and removals:







6. Information sharing: Biometric identification
1. Applicants will need to provide their fingerprints and have a digital photograph taken as part of the application process.
2. Fingerprints are searched against the RCMP’s fingerprint database of previous immigration applicants, previous refugee claimants, Canadian criminal records, and deportees, to establish identity or identify information that would make someone inadmissible to Canada.
3. Systematic fingerprint verification upon arrival through self-service kiosks at airports, with fingerprint verification capacity at additional ports of entry.
4. Biometric data has been collected from refugee claimants since 1993. Biometric data collected in the temporary and permanent resident program will be matched against previous refugee claims to help determine a traveller’s identity.
5. Biometric information is already collected from deportees and persons issued a removal order. Biometric data collected in the temporary and permanent resident program can be matched against deportee and removals records to stop these persons from returning to Canada (when appropriate).
6. Collected fingerprints will be queried against biometric repositories in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Persons known by the immigration authorities in these countries to have violated immigration, criminal or terrorism laws would not be able to hide this information from Canadian officers determining admissibility. Legitimate travel by known individuals will be facilitated. Whether or not a fingerprint match is established, the country receiving the query will automatically destroy the fingerprints used to form the query. In this way, biometric information is not being shared with, retained or used by the other country.

Other actions by our Government to better protect Canadians from the ever-evolving threat of jihadi terrorism:

• The Government announced long-term support under Economic Action Plan 2015 for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency to help ensure the safety and security of Canadians from terrorist threats with $150.37 million over five years beginning in 2015-2016 and $46.79 million per year thereafter, on an ongoing basis for the RCMP, and $5.40 million over five years beginning in 2015-2016 and $1.10 million per year thereafter, on an ongoing basis for the CBSA.
• The Anti-terrorism Act, 2015 will provide Canadian law enforcement and national security agencies with additional tools needed to keep pace with evolving threats and better protect Canadians here at home.
• Passed in 2013, the Combating Terrorism Act has made it a criminal offence to leave or attempt to leave Canada for the purposes of participating in or facilitating a terrorist-related activity.
• Amendments to the Citizenship Act enable the Government to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual citizens and deny it to permanent residents who are convicted of terrorism, high treason, treason or spying offences. They also provide the Federal Court with authority to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual citizens for membership in an armed force or organized armed group engaged in armed conflict with Canada. The Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act (Bill C-24) received Royal Assent in 2014. These new measures came into effect on May 29, 2015.
• The Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act contains targeted amendments to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act to ensure our intelligence agency has the tools it needs to investigate threats to the security of Canada and ensure our collective safety and security. This legislation recently received Royal Assent.
• Through measures included in Economic Action Plan 2015, including the Prevention of Terrorist Travel Act and amendments to the Canadian Passport Order, the Government has taken action to strengthen Canada's ability to cancel, refuse or revoke passports as a preventative measure against high-risk travellers.






PMO Press Office    6/4/2015


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