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Canada earmarks $7.7 billion for security

Paul Martin, Canada's finance minister, has told the United States that Canada will do its part to keep terrorists out of North America by announcing $7.7 billion for personal and economic security, according to the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA).

Announced in a budget speech, the financing includes $600 million over the next five years to fund infrastructure projects to facilitate cross-border trade in all parts of Canada. This will include new or improved roads and highways to border crossings and processing centers for commercial vehicles.

Most of the money — to be spent over the next three to five years — will be allocated to intelligence and policing, better screening of new entrants into Canada, enhanced emergency preparedness, support for the military, and enhanced airport security. These initiatives will take up $6.5 billion of the total.

The remaining $1.2 billion will be allocated as follows:

  • $646 million over the next five years to implement pre-screening programs for frequent travelers, detection equipment, and establishment of Integrated Border Enforcement Teams.

  • Martin revived his earlier commitment from the 2000 budget for a $600-million/four-year transportation infrastructure fund, which will be launched in 2002.

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