Canadian Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tabled the 2014 Canadian federal budget yesterday. And it the 2014 Canadian federal budget plan highlights key Beyond the Border (BtB) accomplishments and a new Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) objective.
Regarding RCC, the 2014 Canadian federal budget plan calls for aligning common classification and labeling requirements for workplace hazardous chemicals.
And with Beyond the Border (BtB), the budget plan shows the just how BtB is enhancing the Canada-U.S. economic partnership:
Over the past year, significant progress has been made across all areas of work under the Beyond the Border Action Plan. Benefits are emerging for citizens, travellers and businesses in both countries as we work together.
Among the key accomplishments, Canada and the U.S.:
• Increased membership in the NEXUS trusted traveller program to more than 917,000, a 50-per-cent increase since the Beyond the Border Action Plan was announced, and provided members with additional time-saving benefits, including eight additional NEXUS lanes at land border crossings.
• Successfully implemented Phase I of the truck cargo pre-inspection pilot at Pacific Highway, British Columbia, in which U.S. officials pre-inspected approximately 3,500 U.S.-bound commercial trucks.
• Increased and harmonized the threshold value for low-value commercial shipments, providing access to expedited customs clearance for 1.5 million additional shipments annually into Canada, and reducing transaction costs for industry.
• Launched Phase II of the joint Entry/Exit program at the common land border whereby the record of entry into one country is securely shared and becomes the record of exit from the other country for all travellers who are neither citizens of Canada nor of the United States, thereby enhancing the integrity of our immigration systems.
• Released the first joint Border Infrastructure Investment Plan and confirmed Canadian border expansion projects at North Portal, Saskatchewan ($10 million); Emerson, Manitoba ($10 million); Lansdowne, Ontario ($60 million); and Lacolle, Quebec ($47 million).
Both countries remain committed to implementing this long-term initiative, which will further strengthen the Canada-U.S. partnership, and will continue to work closely with stakeholders to allow for regular and extensive consultations as implementation continues.