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Newsletters 2004 > September 2004


No. H050/04
For release September 17, 2004


OTTAWA - Transport Minister Jean-C. Lapierre today announced that consultations on proposed amendments to the Marine Transport Security Regulations will begin September 20, 2004. The amendments include the introduction of a Marine Facilities Restricted Area Access Clearance Program.

The proposed program would further enhance marine security by requiring background security checks for port workers who require access to certain restricted areas or occupy certain designated positions. The program will build on the experience gained from Canada's program of background security checks for airport personnel, which was introduced in October 1985.

"These proposed amendments represent Transport Canada's next steps to enhance marine security and build on the new port and ship security requirements in place since July 1," said Mr. Lapierre. "Transport Canada looks forward to working with stakeholders in the marine industry to develop these amendments, including the Marine Facilities Restricted Area Access Clearance Program."

The amendments are being proposed further to the Government of Canada's National Security Policy, announced on April 27, 2004 by Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan, which proposes to strengthen Canada's marine security by:

* clarifying and strengthening accountability;
* establishing Marine Security Operations Centres;
* increasing the Canadian Forces, RCMP and Canadian Coast Guard's on-water presence, as well as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' aerial surveillance activities;
* enhancing civilian and naval fleet communications;
* pursuing greater marine security co-operation with the United States; and
* strengthening the security of marine ports and facilities.

Transport Canada expects to have the new regulations in place by early 2005.



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