US, Canada agree to share data on guns, drug smuggling
Apr 28, 2023, 4:26 PM
(Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Canada and the United States agreed Friday to share more information about the smuggling of guns and drugs across their shared border, and pledged to review recent incidents of migrants dying along the border.
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said Ottawa signed four new or updated agreements with Washington that allow the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canada Border Services Agency to exchange more data with their U.S. counterparts.
Officials gave few details as to what had materially changed as a result of Friday’s agreements. But Mendicino said the agreements will allow Canada to go after ghost guns in particular, referring to untracked, privately manufactured firearms used by gangs.
The announcement was made during the Cross Border Crime Forum, which was attended by Mendicino, Canadian Justice Minister David Lametti, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
The agreements are aimed at helping stem the flow of opioids such as fentanyl. Garland said authorities will track the ingredients used to create the deadly drug and the flow of its components from China.
“It means more joint investigations into gun smuggling and trafficking,” Mendicino said at a news conference.
Mayorkas said, “It’s all about meeting the moment, meeting the changes that occur and addressing them in real time — sharing actionable, relevant information in real time.″
A joint statment said law enforcement on both sides of the border would be trained to have a shared understanding of both nations’ privacy laws.
The four leaders also pledged to review recent incidents of migrants dying along the border, pledging to hold people smugglers accountable and crack down on irregular migration using sensors, personnel and timely information.