The Nexus program held “hostage” by the United States according to the Canadian envoy
Canada’s envoy to the United States said the Nexus cross-border trusted traveler program was « held hostage » by a US effort to renegotiate the 20-year-old deal.
Kirsten Hillman made the comments during a one-day summit on border issues between Canada and the United States that took place at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The 13 enrollment centers in Canada, jointly staffed by Canadian and U.S. officers, remain closed due to a dispute over the legal protections of U.S. preclearance officers working there.
Hillman says as the dispute drags on, the backlog of claims — more than 350,000 — is only growing, while the pressure to resolve it continues to mount.
She says the US is trying to unilaterally renegotiate the terms of the deal, a situation she calls « disappointing » and « frustrating ».
The United States wants Customs and Border Protection officers at Canadian hubs to have the same legal protections as at land border crossings and airports.
“There is an attempt to unilaterally renegotiate the terms of a 20-year-old program, and the program is being held hostage by that effort,” Hillman said.
“It must be recognized that we will work on the challenges, but we cannot bring the whole program to its knees until we have solved these problems because it will take time.
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said US customs officers at Nexus centers are not entitled to the same legal protections they enjoy at airports and at the border.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on October 13, 2022.