Article by Campbell Clark, The Globe and Mail
A fear that America’s obsession with security might gum up critical border travel has loomed over some of Canada’s domestic-policy debates. But on two matters currently in the news – the legalization of marijuana and visa-free travel for Mexicans – the United States is proving not to be the border bogeyman that Canadian politicians and bureaucrats sometimes make it out to be.
Last week, as the presidents of Mexico and the U.S. visited Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he will lift the requirement that Mexicans have a visa to visit Canada. This move caused controversy, as bureaucrats raised concerns of a “significant risk” the U.S. will see Canada as weak on security and decide to “thicken” border regulations.
But U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman says his country has no such concerns – and he says he even went out of his way to tell the previous, Conservative government that.
Politicians and pundits have, over the years, also expressed fear that legalizing marijuana will spark a U.S. border slowdown that would hurt trade and travel. But as Mr. Trudeau’s government announced a task force on legalizing pot Thursday, Mr. Heyman insisted the border issues can be worked out, and noted some U.S. states have voted to legalize marijuana, too.
“Each country is going to have to decide their own drug policy,” Mr. Heyman said.