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NELSON: U.S. border tactics here? No thanks

FACE TO FACE: Should Canada negotiate with the U.S. on border security? According to a recently leaked document, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government is secretly negotiating, with the U.S., a "perimeter security agreement.

FACE TO FACE: Should Canada negotiate with the U.S. on border security?


According to a recently leaked document, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government is secretly negotiating, with the U.S., a "perimeter security agreement."

The agreement reportedly seeks to facilitate "the tight integration of Canadian and American border security bureaucracies."

The idea is that our two countries would work together with equal input, and stop so many bad guys before they even get into either country that if we're good, we might then be able to open up our borders a bit so that we could all get to Bellis Fair Mall more quickly.

So why not risk a little of our sovereignty if the payoff might be quicker access to the U.S.?

Canadians shudder when they hear Canada is negotiating with the U.S. about anything. We always get taken to the cleaners.

Softwood lumber. The stealth bomber "negotiation." The surrender of our energy and climate policy. Dropping our Afghanistan 2011 exit strategy at the behest of the U.S.

Canadians don't negotiate with the U.S., we capitulate.

With this dismal record of negotiating with our southern neighbours, the same shrewd bunch is now secretly negotiating "perimeter border security"?

Hillary Clinton, Janet Napolitano, Sharron Angle and others still think the 9/11 terrorists "entered the U.S. from Canada" rather than from Boston's Logan airport, their actual entry point.

Given this kind of thinking, will Canadian and American negotiators come up with a plan that will involve the U.S. adopting Canadian border practices? Not on your Nellie. You can bet, however, that Canadian border practices will stiffen to meet American needs.

Let's not negotiate our customs officers into Rambos on the lookout for terrorists who might be hiding in the trunk of granny's Oldsmobile.

We are a sovereign nation and we should make this as clear in this case as we did when Jean Chr├ętien said we would not be joining the "coalition" in Iraq.

You think it takes a long time going down to Seattle Premium Outlets now? Wait until Prime Minister Harper negotiates us into jumping on the American war on terror bandwagon and our customs officers become as paranoid as their American counterparts.

"Perimeter security negotiations" will serve only to tie Canada to U.S. foreign policy. No thanks.