First- Big sigh....gotta admit, it is a glum, gloom day today. Too much winter. Amongst other things. But, the sun does shine, and I must get out there to soak some up.
Not before some news-
With the Olympics gone and done, you would think the need for olympic security would evaporate, along with the crowds. You would however, be mistaken.
Canada and US may extend security measures past Olympic games
Note the emphasis on the word 'may'? I'll get back to that briefly, for now, the latest.
Canada and U.S. authorities are talking about extending cross-border security measures that were implemented for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and were to end with the closing of the Winter Games.
The RCMP and the U.S. Coast Guard have jointly patrolled the waters off Vancouver since the beginning of the month. (The month being February 2010, I take that to mean.)
The joint patrols will end with the Paralympics but spokesmen from the two agencies said yesterday legislation that would allow joint maritime policing on a permanent basis is on the agenda of both the U.S. and Canadian governments.
The joint RCMP/USCG maritime patrols, known as Siderider, have in effect erased the border on the water, enabling armed officers from either country to cross the border and play a role in enforcing the law. Each RCMP vessel has a U.S. Coast Guard member as well as two or three Mounties, while each USCG boat has a Mountie. The RCMP takes the lead when dealing with Canadians while the U.S. Coast Guard does the same with Americans.
Several RCMP officers were sent last year for training to the U.S. Coast Guard maritime law enforcement academy in Charleston, S.C. The Mounties and U.S. authorities were instructed on the laws on each side of the border and on boating and water safety regulations.
The Olympics is the third pilot project on joint maritime patrolling that the two countries have participated in, officials said. The patrols, with both RCMP officers and USCG members, are free to cross the border in pursuit of any vessel. ( I do wonder what the other two projects were?)
Under normal conditions, the U.S. Coast Guard would not enter Canadian waters and the RCMP would stop at the U.S. border. “It is just a quick getaway for criminal adversaries who try to evade law enforcement,” U.S. Coast Guard Commander Peter Martin said yesterday. “This addresses the problem so we can maintain continuous pursuit, while simultaneously respect the sovereignty of both countries,” he said.
Doesn't that sound nice and friendly? "Adressing problems while respecting sovereignty"
This sound like more of that warming us all up for the North American Union
Back to the use of the word 'may' in the title. I find that a bit misleading, well ok, I find that alot misleading.
Because, the legislation is in fact a done deal. It is already in place, had to have been for those two previous joint operations to have taken place.
And this article from the US, makes it clear an unusual agreement has been ratified.
"Under an unusual agreement between Canada and the United States, ratified by the two nations before the start of the Olympic Games this month, U.S. Coast Guard officers are riding on patrol boats flying the Canadian flag while Canadians have joined U.S. crews plying the waters of the Pacific Northwest."
There is no may in this security agreement. Which is why I took exception to that misleading headline. That should have read, as above