Canada-United States framework for the movement of goods and people across the border during and following an emergency
The Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada (hereinafter Public Safety Canada) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are:
Resolved, in the event of an incident affecting our shared border, to facilitate coordinated, cooperative and timely border management decision-making to mitigate impacts on our citizens and our economies; and
Committed to working together to manage the reasonable movement of goods and people across the Canada-United States border during and following emergencies.
This Framework applies in the event of an incident that contributes to significant border disruption, requires national level engagement, and meets one or more of the following scenarios:
- An attack or threat of attack to the United States or Canada by terrorists;
- A natural or man-made incident, including a pandemic or other health incident, that impacts large numbers of citizens and/or affects Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources of national interest to one or both countries; or
- Federal, State, Local, Provincial, Territorial or U.S. Tribal Governments request national-level assistance through existing procedures;
Consistent with existing coordination and information sharing protocols:
- The Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada and the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are resolved to communicate with each other as soon as practicable and to have their officials communicate until operations at the border are restored to their mutual satisfaction. The Deputy Minister and Deputy Secretary are committed to sharing information on the nature of the incident, communicating about those goods and people considered to be a national priority of one or both countries, and facilitating joint messaging to critical infrastructure sectors, health officials, the trade, and the general public.
- Public Safety Canada and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security intend, in all cases, to liaise with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada and the U.S. Department of State, respectively.
- The Canada Government Operations Centre and the U.S. National Operations Center, and its component operations centers within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, are to continue their ongoing roles according to established procedures.
- This Framework complements the Joint Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) / U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Business Resumption Communication & Coordination Plan, and any subsequent annexes to it, which provides the framework for communication between both agencies during a trade disruption or increase in security threat level in either country. Consistent with this Plan, the CBSA President, and the CBP Commissioner intend to be in regular contact to coordinate and implement the prioritized resumption of normal border traffic.
- This Framework also complements the coordination and information sharing of talking points, media lines and public messaging established by senior public affairs officials at Public Safety Canada and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
In the event of an incident, as defined above, Public Safety Canada and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are resolved to take steps to ensure that Canada and the United States have activated their respective decision-making processes to manage the movement of goods and people across the border.
The Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada, and the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, are committed to maintaining communications and facilitating:
- Measures needed to respond to, and recover from the emergency; and
- Movement of goods and people across the border, as determined by each country.
This Framework is not intended to supersede any statutory authorities or to create any binding obligations under domestic or international law. This Framework is intended to be consistent with the policies in place in each country, and other joint plans including the December 2008 Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America on Emergency Management Cooperation.
Critical Infrastructure News Releases
Government of Canada provides guidance on services and functions deemed essential to Canada’s critical infrastructure during COVID-19
April 2, 2020
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August 23, 2019
Federal support for 20 British Columbia flood mitigation projects
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Critical Infrastructure - Publications and Reports
- Renewing Canada's Approach to Critical Infrastructure Resilience: What We Heard Report
- National Cross Sector Forum 2021-2023 Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure
- Developing an Operational Technology and Information Technology Incident Response Plan
- Enhancing Canada’s Critical Infrastructure Resilience to Insider Risk
- National Cross Sector Forum 2018-2020 Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure
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