Going Dutch: Canada, Netherlands Negotiating Trusted Traveller Agreement

Canada Stocks Rise as Oil Producers Offset Drop in Phone Shares

Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed the Keystone XL project, a flashpoint in the debate over climate change, during a visit to New York City. The long-delayed project carrying oil from Canada’s oil sands needs approval from the U.S. State Department, and Harper’s remarks are some of his strongest to date. “My view is that you don’t take no for an answer,” Harper said. “We haven’t had that but if we were to get that it won’t be final. This won’t be final until it’s approved and we will keep pushing forward.” Harper, who made the remarks at a Canadian American Business Council event, said he’s been in regular contact with President Barack Obama. Harper said it will create 40,000 jobs in the U.S. “The logic behind this project is simply overwhelming,” the prime minister said. Harper said politics has cast doubt on whether the pipeline will be approved but said he’s optimistic it will be approved. “Ultimately, over time, bad politics make bad policy,” he said. “The president has always assured me that he will a make decision that’s in what he believes is in the best interests of the United States based on the facts. I think the facts are clear.” The Obama administration is considering whether to approve the pipeline, which would carry 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta across six U.S. states to the Texas Gulf Coast. A decision late this year or early next year.

Canadian and Dutch citizens would be able to visit each other’s countries more easily under a plan to expand Canada’s trusted traveller programs beyond North America. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan OTTAWA – Canadian and Dutch citizens would be able to visit each other’s countries more easily under a plan to expand Canada’s trusted traveller programs beyond North America. Canada and the Netherlands have been negotiating a bilateral agreement that would allow their citizens to apply to each other’s programs for travellers considered to be a low security risk, records obtained under the Access to Information Act show. The initiative would be modelled on the current Nexus travellers program between Canada and the United States, the Canada Border Services Agency records say. Officials have been developing the regulatory, technological and fee-collection systems needed to implement an accord. “Canada has had discussions with the Netherlands since 2010,” Maja Graham, a border services agency spokeswoman, said in an emailed response to questions. Graham declined to make anyone available for an interview. However, the internal agency records make it clear an agreement with the Netherlands would be the first strand of an effort to create a large web of mutual traveller programs with other countries. Trusted traveller programs are intended to speed the flow of low-risk, known citizens across borders by ushering them into express queues, giving security officers more time to focus limited resources on those who may pose a higher risk. In signing a much-touted perimeter security deal with the United States two years ago, Canada committed to expanding the Nexus program a which has about 700,000 members a to third countries. Enrolment in Nexus is expected to “reach saturation” at about a million members within a few years, meaning that reaching out to other countries “is necessary to increase the level of travellers entering Canada through expedited clearance,” say the notes. A conservative estimate of potential intake into Canada’s trusted traveller programs, if arrangements were to be signed with “a handful of like-minded countries,” is in the range of 100,000 additional members, says a briefing note prepared for border agency president Luc Portelance. In fact, the Canada-Netherlands agreement was expected to be in place last year, with a three-page draft agreement drawn up for consideration.

The slight upside likely reflects that there was nothing hidden in the results, said Bill Kreher , an analyst with Edward Jones & Co., in a phone interview from St. Louis . Jean Coutu Group Inc. rose 1.8 percent to C$18.29 to pace gains among consumer-staples companies. Telus dropped 1.2 percent to C$34.52 and Rogers retreated 1 percent to C$44.64. Analyst Robert Bek with CIBC World Markets cut his price targets for the two wireless carriers by 11 percent and 17 percent, respectively, due to the Canadian governments increasing attention to the space. Canadas largest carriers signaled on Sept. 23 their intent to bid in a wireless spectrum auction in January, with no sign of interest from major foreign companies after Verizon Communications Inc. said earlier this month it wouldnt enter the Canadian market. Emerging Trend Teck Resources Ltd., Canadas largest diversified miner, dropped 4.1 percent to C$28.10 following two days of gains. Paretosh Misra, analyst with Morgan Stanley, said the company may move ahead with an oil sands project, as investing in energy assets is an emerging trend among miners.

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