Canada and 9/11 : border security in a new era
Carpentier, Michel Lawrence
In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11), Canada began the process of adjusting to the new security realities. It immediately became apparent that a preeminent issue that Canada would have to address was border security, especially the matter of maintaining a secure and open border with the United States (US). Canada has always recognized the necessity of an open border with the US but 9/11 reinforced just how vulnerable the border was to events beyond its control. Something needed to be done in order to sustain this vital trading relationship.This thesis examines Canada’s response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 but more specifically, Canada’s efforts to maintain an open and secure border with the US in the immediate months and years following the attacks. This thesis is a case study of Canada’s political efforts in that regard. The central focus is on Canada’s initiation, negotiation and signing of the Smart Border Declaration (SBD) with the US on December 12, 2001. The purpose here is to examine the driving factors that lead Canada to engage in the smart borders process with the US and assess the importance of them.This thesis concludes that Canada’s response to the border crisis has revealed three significant trends in Canada’s foreign and security policy. First, the SBD serves as a demonstration that Canada’s national security has been significantly influenced by the security of economics and in particular, the special trade relationship that exists between Canada and the US. Secondly, the SBD is a familiar case of Canada taking the initiative in a North American policy matter and achieving an impressive policy triumph. Thirdly, it shows that the SBD represented an equally familiar instance of Canada taking action to provide certain assurances to the US that the security of Canada and the US is indivisible. In essence, it was a significant effort to appear as a reliable and responsible neighbour to the US.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
SupervisorStory, Donald C.
CommitteeMacLeod, Allan; Isinger, Russell; Huq, M. Mobinul; Garcea, Joseph
Copyright DateDecember 2007
September 11 2001