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By Alfa · Oct 24, 2004 ·
  1. Alfa

    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
    enforcement officials.

    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
    Anne McLellan.

    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.


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