Canada's Integrated Border Enforcement Team (IBET)
IBET is a multi-agency police team that targets cross-border criminal activity. Customs and police agents share information across the border.
In an effort to boost intelligence and strengthen anti-terrorism goals with the U.S. over the next six years, the 2001 federal budget included $135-million for more IBETs.
IBET was originally developed in 1996 to fight cross-border crimes between B.C. and Washington State. It has since evolved into a national program. Its objectives are to protect the two countries from terrorism, and impede the smuggling of drugs, humans, cigarettes, or other illegal substances.
IBETs involve members of federal, provincial, municipal, and First Nations law enforcement agencies and their U.S. counterparts.
IBETs have been established in four Canadian locations: B.C., New Brunswick and Ontario (in Cornwall and Windsor). The IBET in B.C. alone has averaged $1-million a month in seizures.
The newest IBET in Cornwall brings together "the expertise and resources of 12 different police services and agencies on both sides of the Canada-United States border," Federal Solicitor General Lawrence MacAulay said in February, 2002.
"As Attorney General John Ashcroft said to me, Canada-United States law enforcement cooperation is a model of how two countries should conduct themselves. We are both great supporters of the IBET concept because it works to protect the citizens of both our countries. And IBETs have become even more crucial since the tragic events of September 11," MacAuley added.
Expanding Integrated Border Enforcement Teams to other areas of the border and enhancing communication and coordination are key commitments made in the Smart Border Declaration and 30-point Action Plan signed by Deputy Prime Minister John Manley and U.S. Director of Homeland Security Governor Tom Ridge on December 12, 2001.
Sources: RCMP, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade