(so-called) Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day acknowledged Thursday that U.S. agents conduct investigations in Canada but said all are done according to Canadian law.
Day was responding to a report regarding an internal FBI audit that shows U.S. agents are carrying out investigations without the approval of the Canadian government.
It says the FBI has given agents in its Buffalo field office clearance to conduct "routine investigations" up to 50 miles into Canadian territory.
When asked about the report during question period, Day said Canadian security forces work with Canada's allies, including the U.S, and have agreements in terms of information sharing.
"We have teams that are designated going back and forth across the border and sometimes it is farther than 50 miles or 50 kilometres," Day said.The most recent audit by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's inspector general, done in 2004, documents the growth of FBI operations in Canada since 2001.
"I can assure you that everything that is done on Canadian soil in relation to security and safety investigations are done in accordance with our law."
As well as the reference to "routine investigations" inside Canadian territory it also says that about 30 per cent of FBI agents crossing the border to work in Canada failed to get "country clearance." In other words, they didn't get Canada's approval.
The inspector general's report documents 135 unapproved FBI crossings and says there is no sign the crossings will stop.
Canadian officials say they have made no protest to the U.S. government about FBI agents operating without permission on Canadian soil.
According to the report, the FBI has struggled to keep up with its Canadian workload despite opening two new branch offices. It pursues thousands of leads a year in Canada, far more than in any other country except the United States.
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is, may be enlightening