Canada and 9/11: Border Security in a New Era

by Carpentier, Michel Lawrence

Abstract (Summary)
In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11), Canada began the process of adjusting to the new security realities. It immediately became apparent that a preeminent issue that Canada would have to address was border security, especially the matter of maintaining a secure and open border with the United States (US). Canada has always recognized the necessity of an open border with the US but 9/11 reinforced just how vulnerable the border was to events beyond its control. Something needed to be done in order to sustain this vital trading relationship.

This thesis examines Canadas response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 but more specifically, Canadas efforts to maintain an open and secure border with the US in the immediate months and years following the attacks. This thesis is a case study of Canadas political efforts in that regard. The central focus is on Canadas initiation, negotiation and signing of the Smart Border Declaration (SBD) with the US on December 12, 2001. The purpose here is to examine the driving factors that lead Canada to engage in the smart borders process with the US and assess the importance of them.

This thesis concludes that Canadas response to the border crisis has revealed three significant trends in Canadas foreign and security policy. First, the SBD serves as a demonstration that Canadas national security has been significantly influenced by the security of economics and in particular, the special trade relationship that exists between Canada and the US. Secondly, the SBD is a familiar case of Canada taking the initiative in a North American policy matter and achieving an impressive policy triumph. Thirdly, it shows that the SBD represented an equally familiar instance of Canada taking action to provide certain assurances to the US that the security of Canada and the US is indivisible. In essence, it was a significant effort to appear as a reliable and responsible neighbour to the US.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Garcea, Joseph; MacLeod, Allan; Isinger, Russell; Story, Donald; Huq, Mobinul

School:University of Saskatchewan

School Location:Canada - Saskatchewan

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:september 11 2001 canada 9 border security


Date of Publication:12/20/2007

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