The Seafarers International Union (SIU) of Canada warned that the Maritime provisions of the Canadian-European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) could result in an open door of entry for terrorists, as well as create other security threats.
Under CETA, foreign owned and crewed vessels would gain more access to Canadian Cabotage; meaning they would be free to trade between Canadian ports, something previously reserved for Canadian flagged and Canadian crewed vessels only.
Canadian seafarers must go through vigorous police background checks before seeking employment on a Canadian vessel. “Once CETA opens Canadian waters to foreign vessels and crews, we will lose control of who is coming in to Canada. This is the reality that we face,” the union said. “Are we ready for the possibility of a terrorist sneaking onto a vessel as a crew member for easy access into Canada? Opening our waters, and subsequently our land, to foreign seafarers is reckless for Canada’s safety, especially in the wake of recent terrorist acts, including most recently in Paris, France,” the union added.
The Union is calling on the Federal Government to reverse the Maritime provisions contained in CETA and to ensure that the Cabotage Laws are not touched in order to ensure safety and security of Canadian coastline.
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