A Homeland Security budget proposal to study a new land-crossing fee along the United States borders with Canada and Mexico was killed on May 9, The Globe and Mail reported. The suggestion of examining a new toll for all vehicles and pedestrians entering into the US was proposed by the Department of Homeland Security, and caused outcry in both Canada and the US. Both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate condemned the proposal, and an amendment to the budget passed in the judiciary committee.
Cuban authorities have charged Canadian and British executives of three foreign businesses after more than a year in custody and are now preparing their trials, Reuters reported. The Canadian firms involved are trading firm Tri-Star Caribbean and Tokmakjian, both well known in Cuba. The charges involve various economic crimes and operating beyond the limits of their business licenses. Reports indicate the arrests are part of broad government campaign to stamp out corruption.
In the lead-up to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s trip to New York this week to answer questions at an American think tank and meet with business leaders, the Conservative government has created an advertising campaign that boasts environmentally-conscious resource development, Postmedia News reported. The public relations effort includes ads in American publications as well as a new website called Go with Canada which touts Canada as “America’s best energy partner.” The 30-day campaign is run by Natural Resources Canada and is expected to try to drum up US support for the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.
A new bill being considered in the United States would extend the amount of time Canadian visitors are allowed to stay in the country, The Globe and Mail reported. The bill would allow some Canadian vacationers to stay for up to eight months instead of six, and was pushed by a civil society group, the Canadian Snowbird Association. The Canadian government said it did not lobby for the new bill, but said it welcomes any changes that assist with greater trade and tourism between the neighbours.
Canada has deported a convicted terrorist back to Lebanon, more than 25 years after he was ordered to leave after lying about his identity and past on his immigration application, CBC News reported. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the case of Mahmoud Mohammad Issa Mohammad, who participated in an attack on an Israeli plane in the 1960s, showed “just how broken Canada’s immigration and refugee determination systems” are. Mr. Kenney placed some of the blame on the many appeal avenues that were present in the Canadian immigration system before recent changes.