Border security expands in Canada, but is it fair for everyone?
Prime Minister Stephen Harper plans to expand border security. Specifically, he wants more visitors to be photographed and fingerprinted in an attempt to avoid the threat of terrorist attacks. This new idea is supposed to take effect no sooner than 2018 and cost around C$312.6 million.
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Originally reported by Bloomberg Business, Harper had the following to say on the issue: “For a prosperous, pluralistic country like Canada, one of the great trading nations of the world, borders cannot be barriers. Still, they must be filters, effective filters.”
While important and admirable to want to heighten the country’s security, is this new expansion plan really necessary? Furthermore, as a small group seems to be exempt from the new proposed rule, is it even fair to implement?
These new screening measures will only apply to those who are seeking work or study permits—except United States citizens. As well, those who are applying for visitor visas or permanent residency will also be screened.
A question quickly arises: why do some have the privilege of being exempted from this screening. If safety is the real issue for his country, shouldn’t Prime Minister Stephen Harper be adamant about securely checking all parties that want to enter his country—bar none.
One motive behind this new measure is to help ensure that people aren’t lying about their true identities. For example, Harper mentioned the fact that people can fake their name, but not their fingerprints.
It’s not necessary to get into forensics—basically, if someone wanted to shave off their fingerprints, they could. Believe it or not, there are ways to get around every single stipulation. However, keeping the argument more sensible, let’s revisit the fact that not every person crossing the border will be given the burden of having his or her fingerprints checked. This fact still doesn’t seem to be fair.
Currently, Canada has biometric screenings for visitors from 29 different countries; this list will be greatly expanded over the next four years. In order to help pay for this entire expansion, Canada will be charging a fee that is somewhat comparable with other countries. Furthermore, this fee is also believed to help Canadian taxpayers recoup much of the original cost.
Safety is important. Protecting a country from a potential terrorist attack is monumental. But if this expansion plan is going to take place, shouldn’t it be administered 100 per cent accurately and fairly. As of now, the plan kind of leaves room for further segregation, which could ultimately lead to a whole other issue taking place.
There’s no dispute that the country and its citizens should feel safe and be protected at all times, but will the new perimeters of this border expansion security plan really help to accomplish a sense of safety?
[SOURCE Bloomberg Business]
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”