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Perimeter approach to solving border issues not likley, researcher says

There are a number of solutions to making the border between Canada and the United States operate more efficiently, but adopting a continental perimeter probably isn’t one of them, according to Bill Anderson.

“I’m not saying that we shouldn’t purse this perimeter approach,” said the University of Windsor political science professor, “but that Holy Grail of European style of perimeter approach where you basically get rid of the borders is not anything we’re going to see in North America any time soon.”

The Ontario Research Chair in Cross-Border Transportation Policy, Dr. Anderson recently released a document called The Border and the Ontario Economy, a sweeping report that examines the importance of an efficient border to provincial commerce and makes a number of recommendations to make it work better.

Besides embracing new technology and moving certain functions away from the border crossing, the report examines the Schengen Area, a group of 26 European Union states within which all border controls and inspections have been eliminated. The solution might work in Europe where countries were able to harmonize certain regulations in order to allow for the free flow of people and goods across borders, but Anderson expressed doubt that same level of harmonization could be achieved between Canada and the U.S.

“Do you really think we’re going to have a common policy in North America on firearms?” he asked. “We’re always going to have to check vehicles coming in to Canada from the United States for firearms.  We’re not going to have a common policy on refugees, or on visas in general. If you don’t have that common policy, you’re always going to have to check people for immigration purposes to see if they’re legally eligible to come in to Canada or the United States.”

Anderson will discuss the report today on Research Matters, a weekly talk show that showcases the work of University of Windsor researchers and airs every Thursday at 4:30 p.m. on CJAM 99.1 FM.