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Assessing Public Confidence in Canada’s New Approach to Border Security

John A. Winterdyk, Kelly W. Sundberg


In response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and subsequent global ‘War on Terror’, on December 12th, 2003 Canada consolidated its customs, immigration, and food inspection services into the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). This paper examines how the establishment of the CBSA, along with other North American post-9/11 security reforms, have impacted Canada. After presenting a historic account of North America’s border services, we present the results of a national-based public survey of Canadians on how post 9-11 reforms have impacted the public’s confidence in their governments’ ability to address trans-border crime and threat of terrorism. Overall, the results show that while Canadians appear undecided about their nation’s level of border security, they are not overly confident about the government’s ability to address the threat of trans-border crime and terrorism. Using a peacemaking perspective, we conclude by discussing several key criticisms of recent national security reforms and explore how these reforms are impacting established social, economic, and political freedoms.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229