DRUGS, GUNS ON TABLE FOR ASHCROFT'S CANADIAN VISIT
Fighting gun, drug and human trafficking along the Canada-U.S. border will
be key agenda items when U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft heads to
Ottawa this week to meet with his Canadian counterparts and dozens of law
It will be the second visit in less than two weeks from senior members of
the Bush administration: Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge came to
Canada last week to discuss border security with Public Security Minister
Mr. Ashcroft will meet with Ms. McLellan and Justice Minister Irwin Cotler.
He will also address the Canada-U.S. Cross-Border Crime Forum, which was
created in 1997 to examine trafficking as well as high-tech crime, abducted
children, money laundering, and other shared crime issues.
The forum includes several law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, the
RCMP, border agencies, and provincial and municipal police forces. "Having
these sorts of meetings, where you bring together law enforcement but also
ministers, helps to ensure collaboration," said Ms. McLellan's spokesman,
Alex Swann. "Certainly information sharing is always key."
A spokesperson for Mr. Ashcroft's office could not be reached for details
on his speech, which he will deliver to the forum on Friday after meeting
privately with Ms. McLellan and Mr. Cotler.
But on his last trip to Canada in July 2002, Mr. Ashcroft said he would
like to see Canada loosen restrictions to allow armed American law
enforcement officers to pursue suspects in Canada.