Canada watching to see if border pact threatened by U.S. budget cuts

The Canadian Press
Associated Press

OTTAWA - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says Canada will be watching closely to see if a massive scheduled budget cut in the U.S. this week will affect the Beyond the Border pact between the two countries.

About $85 billion in cuts are set to hit U.S. federal programs starting on Friday.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said earlier this week that her department would have to furlough 5,000 border patrol agents if the cuts go through.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama signed the much vaunted border deal 14 months ago.

It is designed to speed trade across the 49th parallel while protecting the security of the North American continent from terrorist threats.

Baird says the scheduled March 1 cut is not the way Canada would prefer to make budgetary decisions.