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Old 02-28-2003, 10:19 AM   #1
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Now Here's a Republican Congressman I Like!

Canada not terrorist haven: Congressman
Intelligence expert praises neighbour But U.S. senator slams `porous' border

WASHINGTON—Canada is not a haven for terrorists and the Canadian border poses no special threat to the United States, a prominent Congressman and intelligence expert said yesterday.

"Canada is much beloved, a very fine neighbour and a great friend to the United States," Florida Republican Porter Goss said yesterday.

"We have a very good, professional, working relationship. We get good co-operation from Canadian authorities. Canada makes sure nothing slips through their net."

Goss heads the House Select Committee on Intelligence, a powerful committee that oversees every aspect of U.S. intelligence.

He is also a former member of the CIA and sits on the House Homeland Security Committee.

Goss spoke out the same morning that Canada was blasted by U.S. Republican Senator Susan Collins, who said most members of Congress still believe Canada is a wide-open gateway funnelling terrorists into the United States.

"Canadian immigration is looser than in the U.S. and more porous and represents a vulnerability," Collins told a conference on Canada-U.S. relations yesterday. "It is what most American policymakers truly believe."

Collins, who grew up in Caribou, Me., and crossed the border regularly into Canada, now chairs a powerful Senate committee that oversees the new U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for security along the Canada-U.S. border.

Her committee will ensure the department comes up with a method to document and track every person entering and leaving the United States via Canada in less than two years.

"It's not Canadian citizens we worry about, it's the fear of other foreign nationals who may be hostile to the United States coming through Canada," Collins said of her congressional colleagues.

But Goss said immigration issues are not a huge problem, comparing Canada's system to that of Puerto Rico.

"It equates, in terms of immigration, to Puerto Rico. Some think, once you are in Canada, you are as good as in the U.S.," he said.

"It is not Canada's fault and not America's fault that people are trying to harm us. It is the fault of the people trying to do us harm. At the professional level and top political levels, people understand that Canada is the friend of the U.S," he said.

Early reports, eventually proven false, suggested that some of the Sept. 11 hijackers entered the U.S. from Canada.

Goss said Canada has proven time and again that it is committed to thwarting any threat to the United States.

He cited Canadian co-operation in the arrest of a man who planned to bomb Los Angeles' airport.

Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian based in Montreal, was arrested in December, 1999, at Port Angeles, Wash., after getting off a ferry from British Columbia with an explosives-laden car meant to be used in a millennium bombing campaign.

At his trial, Ressam eventually testified that he planned to blow up Los Angeles International airport. He was convicted April 6, 2001, in the U.S. of nine counts of conspiring to commit an act of international terrorism and other charges.

With files from Canadian Press

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Old 02-28-2003, 10:54 AM   #2
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Republicans are people too..

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Old 02-28-2003, 11:27 AM   #3
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Well I wouldn't go THAT far!
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Old 02-28-2003, 11:40 AM   #4
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Questions of sincerity aside, he is certainly a smart one.

I'd imagine he'd be loathe to diss a nation who contributes significantly every year to his state's tourism income.

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