Ralph Goodale, Canada’s minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, ended his weeklong trip to Israel with an agreement that will facilitate trade between the two countries.
Goodale and his Israeli counterpart, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, signed a Mutual Recognition Arrangement between the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Israel Tax Authority regarding a program called Trusted Trader.
Trusted Trader programs are designed to enhance security through the establishment of “customs to business partnerships,” and through streamlined border protocols for pre-approved, low-risk traders.
The agreement means that members of the CBSA’s Partners in Protection program will be recognized by, and receive trade facilitation benefits from, the Israel Tax Authority.
The CBSA will reciprocate by providing similar benefits to members of Israel’s Authorized Economic Operator program, Goodale’s office explained.
The agreement is aimed at “achieving the common goals of growing our economies by facilitating trade; keeping our citizens safe by recognizing our low-risk traders; focusing our respective resources on higher, or unknown, risk; and strengthening our relationships,” Goodale stated.
In Tel Aviv, Goodale also announced a contribution of $168,011 to the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, which is renowned for its peace-building and reconciliation work, to train and empower Israeli, Palestinian and other Middle Eastern and North African young leaders to be “peace advocates” in their communities.
The contribution, made through Global Affairs Canada’s Peace and Stabilization Operations Program, will train 100 young leaders in citizen journalism, storytelling, the use of new media, as well as video and photo journalism.
This will enable participants “to promote messages of peaceful coexistence online and within their networks and communities,” a statement from Goodale’s office said.
The training will take place through online courses and in workshops in Jerusalem and Jordan.
In Jerusalem, Goodale and Erdan discussed how the two countries can combat the growing global war on terrorism.
Erdan praised Canada as “a true partner of Israel” in the fight against terrorism. He said he stressed to Goodale that terrorism cannot be fought “without first fighting incitement.”
According to the Jerusalem Post, the two ministers discussed Israel’s handling of recent terror attacks and riots in the Old City and on the Temple Mount, intelligence sharing and co-operation on anti-aircraft and anti-missile weapons.
Goodale also took part in a roundtable discussion led by Israel’s chief scientist, Gad Fishman, on handling post-traumatic stress disorder among first responders, the Post reported.
Goodale also traveled to Bethlehem and Ramallah. At Yad Vashem, he laid a wreath on behalf of Canada. Accompanied by York Centre MP Michael Levitt and former justice minister Irwin Cotler, Goodale also planted a tree in the Jewish National Fund’s Yad Kennedy forest.