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Windsor-Detroit Will Benefit From Cross-Border Initiatives


Windsor, Ontario  — The Windsor-Detroit corridor is expected to be one of the first regions to benefit from the initiatives promised in the Beyond the Border Declaration recently signed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama.

The Canada-U.S. Shiprider program, which involves vessels jointly crewed by specially trained and designated Canadian and U.S. law enforcement officers who are authorized to enforce the law on both sides of the international boundary line, could be in place as early as this summer in the Windsor-Detroit region if legislation before Parliament is passed, according to the Port of Windsor. The Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations (also known as the Shiprider program) is part of the budget implementation bill (C-38 Jobs Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act) currently in the House of Commons.

David Cree, president and CEO of the Windsor Port Authority, said: “The Shiprider program will be a huge benefit for the Port of Windsor and the City as it will allow the U.S. Coast Guard and the RCMP to share information and resources and more effectively secure our waters from crimes such as cross-border smuggling and trafficking.”

The Windsor-Detroit region is divided by a narrow 60-mile maritime border of the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers – a maritime border so narrow that the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Belle Isle cannot even get underway from their moorings without crossing into Canadian waters.   It’s also an extremely accessible maritime border – there are more than 118,000 U.S. registered boats between Lake Huron and Lake Erie alone.

In a speech at the Windsor Marine Night, Chief of Response for the Ninth District of the U.S. Coast Guard Stephen Torpey said that crews from the Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrived last month at the Coast Guard’s Maritime Law Enforcement Academy in Charleston, SC to train for the Shiprider program.   The Shiprider program has been under development since a framework agreement was signed in May 2009 and it’s been successfully piloted in communities such as Cornwall as well as at the Vancouver Olympics.

Torpey said: “It will exponentially improve the ability of the RCMP, Coast Guard, and other participating agencies to conduct maritime law enforcement and security operations. It will be a significant step forward in translating our shared responsibilities into on-water operational authorities and capabilities. And most importantly, it will make it harder for criminal elements and other threats to exploit the geography and proximity of our shared maritime border with Canada.”
He added:  “Canada is taking the next steps in the ratification process and we are optimistic it will pass in 2012.  And from my perspective, it can’t come soon enough.”

About Shiprider

As part of the Shiprider program, armed Canadian and U.S. law enforcement officers, working together, are able to transit back and forth across the border to help secure it from threats to national security, as well as prevent cross-border smuggling and trafficking. Specific enforcement activities consist of detecting, monitoring and potentially boarding vessels in either Canadian or American waters. In Canadian waters, Canada-U.S. Shiprider operations are subject to Canadian laws, policies and procedures and all operations are undertaken under the direction and control of the RCMP. RCMP vessels designated as Canada-U.S. Shiprider vessels have a member of the USCG on board and are able to enter U.S. waters to enforce U.S. laws under the supervision of the USCG member.

Likewise, USCG vessels designated as Canada-U.S. Shiprider vessels have a member of the RCMP on board and are able to enter Canadian waters to enforce Canadian laws under the supervision of the RCMP officer.



The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway maritime industry supports 227,000 jobs in the U.S. and Canada, and annually generates $14 billion in salary and wages, $34 billion in business revenue, and $4.6 billion in federal, state/provincial and local taxes. North American farmers, steel producers, construction firms, food manufacturers, and power generators depend on the 164 million metric tons of essential raw materials and finished products that are moved annually on the system. This vital trade corridor saves companies $3.6 billion per year in transportation costs compared to the next least-costly land-based alternative.


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Marine Delivers is a bi-national, industry collaboration that aims to demonstrate the positive economic and environmental benefits, safety, energy efficiency, and sustainability of the shipping industry throughout the Great Lakes-Seaway System. The Marine Delivers initiative is administered by the American Great Lakes Ports Association in the United States, and the Chamber of Marine Commerce in Canada. 

About the Chamber of Marine Commerce

The Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC) is a bi-national association that represents diverse marine industry stakeholders including major Canadian and American shippers, ports, terminals and marine service providers, as well as Canadian domestic and international ship owners. The Chamber advocates for safe, sustainable, harmonized and competitive policy and regulation that recognizes the marine transportation system's significant advantages in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, Coastal and Arctic regions.

Media Contact:
Jason Card
Chamber of Marine Commerce
(613) 447 5401