Canada-U.S. Shiprider Program
Detroit, Michigan, Thursday, April 30, 2015
Thank you for your warm welcome.
What a great way to wrap up my visit to the Midwestern states—with a “cruise” on the mighty Detroit River!
The Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement program, or “Shiprider” is yet another wonderful example of Canadians and Americans working together.
Canada and the United States have so much in common, not least our shared border that runs through land, lake and river. It’s almost 9,000 kilometres long or, as you would say stateside, about 5,500 miles.
We’re fortunate to share a border that’s secure yet allows people to cross freely—more than 400,000 people a day, in fact.
In terms of trade, you may be aware that more than $2 billion—U.S. dollars’—worth of goods and services crosses our border every day.
These are impressive numbers, and of course the key to maintaining and increasing them is through smart co-operation.
The Shiprider program is but one example in a long history of such co-operation on border security between our two countries. And it is a great example!
Both Canadians and Americans are dedicated to border security. What could be a better image of this than RCMP, U.S. Coast Guard and other law enforcement officers working together on the same boat?
This program is so important, because so much of our border runs through waterways. The Detroit River, the Niagara River, the St. Lawrence River, the Great Lakes—all pose challenges for border security.
That’s why it’s so important for us to work together in this way. Smart initiatives like this one are critical to strengthening our border and our relationship.
Let me congratulate all of you who have worked to make this program a success. I understand it has inspired similar efforts along our eastern and western coastlines, where we also share a border, and this is something to be proud of.
This program and the New International Trade Crossing are both very positive border developments for our two countries.
Canadians and Americans are great friends and neighbours, and I thank you for your efforts to secure our border and strengthen our ties.
Now let’s get going! I can’t wait to weigh anchor and navigate these waters!