02 February 2011

US Visa requirement for Canadians rejected by Ottawa

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A US senator a raised a proposal to require Canadian citizens to have a US Visa to enter the United States following the release of an "alarming" report about security along America's northern border.

US Visa

A United States senator as suggested US Visas for Canadian citizens should be considered.

The Harper government has flatly rejected the idea with Immigration Minister Jason Kenney moving quickly to caution people not to give the comments too much credence.

"Canada and the United States have always been visa-free for bilateral travel of our nationals," he said. "I have no reason to believe that will ever change. It would be massively problematic from an economic perspective."

Senator Joe Lieberman, the chairman of the US Senate's powerful Homeland Security committee, comments came after a report that found the US Customs and Border Protection agency provides an "acceptable level of security" along less than one per cent of America's 6,400-kilometre border with Canada.

Lieberman said the challenges of the border were complicated by the fact that "most Canadians do not need a visa to enter the United States."

While he did not advocate a US Visa for Canadians, Lieberman said it is at least a discussion the US should be having with Canada.


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