New border security minister Bill Blair asked to lead talks on Safe Third Country Agreement with U.S.

posted on August 28, 2018

By Vancouver Sun |

Bill Blair, the new minister responsible for border security and organized crime reduction, has been officially tasked with leading the charge on irregular migration and looking at whether Canada should ban handguns and assault weapons.

A mandate letter from the prime minister says Blair’s work will be supported by the departments of Public Safety, Immigration and Foreign Affairs.

It says Blair must lead conversations with the United States on the Safe Third Country Agreement on asylum seekers, working closely with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.

The letter also says Blair will examine a “full ban on handguns and assault weapons in Canada” while taking care not to impede the lawful use of firearms.

The Canada-U.S. relationship pops up in other mandate letters being made public today, including issues around trade and energy.

The publication of the mandate letters comes about one month after Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet, creating a new portfolio for Blair.

Opposition MPs have criticized Blair’s appointment and accused him of not being able to clearly define his new role.

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