(Ottawa) Canada and the United States have pledged to share more information on the illegal smuggling of firearms across the border.
This involves four “new or updated” agreements between the authorities of the two countries, Canadian Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino announced on Friday.
“They will deepen partnerships in conducting smuggling and weapons trafficking investigations, sharing intelligence between agencies, and improving the tracing of illegal weapons used to commit crimes,” he said. summarized after a meeting with senior US justice and public safety officials.
Mr. Mendicino was at a press briefing alongside US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick Garland, who traveled to Ottawa for the Canada-US Cross-Border Crime Forum (FCT) .
Mr. Majorkoras said that the agreements reached are intended to address the constant changes in the world of arms smuggling. “We are responding to a dynamic environment with dynamism in the actions of our authorities,” he said.
“With some of the technologies that have recently emerged on both sides of the border with (our partnerships), we can now tackle these phantom weapons and trace them,” the minister said.
Otherwise, few details were given on the concrete changes brought by the agreements announced on Friday.
Canada and the United States have also pledged to work together to curb the circulation of opioids such as fentanyl, which are the cause of many fatal overdoses. Canadian Justice Minister David Lametti also participated in the discussions.
The joint statement from Ottawa and Washington also mentions that the two countries will step up efforts to stem human trafficking at the border.
Minister Mendicino took advantage of Friday’s press briefing to indicate that he was determined to see Bill C-21 on gun control passed quickly.
“I can assure Canadians that we are working night and day to pass this piece of legislation,” he said.
The C-21 is often criticized by several opposition parties, mainly the Conservatives, who believe that there is practically nothing to counter illegal arms trafficking at the border.
Justin Trudeau’s government has also promised to include a definition of prohibited assault weapons that would prevent manufacturers from circumventing the 2020 ban.
The Liberal government had put forward such a definition through two amendments last winter, but had to backtrack after an outcry. Hunters and members of indigenous communities feared that weapons used for hunting were targeted.
The Liberals are working with the Bloc Québécois and the New Democratic Party on a new version of these amendments. The proposal is expected to be presented within the next few days.