Integrated Cross-border Law Enforcement Operations Act

The Integrated Cross-border Law Enforcement Operations Act can be a bit tricky to find, as the complete full-text of the act is found in section 368 of the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act, S.C. 2012, c. 19. 

Section 374 of the Act states that this comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.  It is not yet in force.

See our Canada Proclamations page or check out our Our Legal Knowledge Base on Federal Orders in Council - obtaining copiesfor more details.

You can cite this act as: Integrated Cross-border Law Enforcement Operations Act, S.C. 2012, c. 19, s. 368.

What does the new act do?

It implements the Framework Agreement on Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America, signed on May 26, 2009.

What is the framework?

The Framework Agreement was signed on May 26, 2009 by the Canadian Minister of Public Safety and the US Department of Homeland Security Secretary.

It makes permanent a joint Canada-US pilot program (referred to as Shiprider),  created in 2005 to address security concerns along the maritime border. Shiprider enabled armed officers from the US Coast Guard and the RCMP to jointly patrol shared waterways and to continue to pursue suspects from one country to the other.

Furthermore, it allowed each government to confer upon the other country’s participating law enforcement officers the authority of peace officers in order to facilitate the enforcement of their laws across the international border.

Shiprider was initially based out of the Windsor/Detroit, and in 2007, it was expanded to other areas along the Canada-US maritime border to include areas along the BC and Washington state border.

Finally, in 2008, based on the success of Shiprider, the governments of Canada and the US announced their intention to negotiate a more permanent, joint maritime law enforcement program agreement. .

The purpose of the agreement is to provide the parties with additional means to prevent, detect, suppress, investigate and prosecute criminal offences or violations of law, including, but not limited to, illicit drug trade, migrant smuggling, trafficking of firearms, the smuggling of counterfeit goods and money, and terrorism in shared waterways.

The Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement operations under the agreement are to be intelligence-drive, based on joint Canada-US threat and risk assessment and coordinated with existing cooperative cross-border policing programs and activities.

History of the Act

Bill C-60: Keeping Canadians Safe (Protecting Borders) Act was introduced in the House of Commons on November 27, 2009. Public Safety Canada, the department responsible for the bill, in a statement released the day the bill received first reading, cites the Minister of Justice, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, as saying:

"This proposed legislation is a new approach to border law enforcement. With its accompanying regulatory changes, the proposed legislation provides a proper legal framework and ensures effective integrated law enforcement operations can occur in boundary waters."

Bill C-60 passed first reading, but then died on the order paper.

It was re-introduced as part of Bill C-38: Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act, S.C. 2012, c. 19, s. 368. 

August 13, 2012