Canada restructures customs, border services

Canada restructures customs, border services

OTTAWA -- Canada has created a new federal security department along the lines of the Department of Homeland Security in the United States, one incorporating Canada's customs as the new Canada Border Services Agency.

New Prime Minister Paul Martin announced the creation of the Cabinet-level Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness ministry as part of his swearing-in last week. Martin named Anne McLellan, former Health Minister, as Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and Minister of the new department. McLellan's portfolio gives her responsibility for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service, other national legal and corrections and emergency preparedness entities. She takes over the Customs side of what has been the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.

The Canada Border Services Agency's mission is "to build on the Smart Border Initiative" with the United States, a program of land border, seaport, airport and immigration reforms and programs to tighten security while expediting the flow of commercial and traveler traffic.

McLellan, 53, will be responsible for Canada's security relations and programs with the U.S., as was outgoing Deputy Minister and Finance Minister John Manley.

Martin also name Alain Jolicoeur, a deputy minister, as president of the new border agency.