tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 9, 2016 8:00pm-10:01pm EST
>> tonight on c-span, the body of nancy reagan is brought to the reagan presidential library ahead of her funeral on friday. politico hosted a discussion on u.s.-canadian relations and talk about u.s. foreign aid policy. former first lady nancy reagan died on sunday at the age of 94. today, her body was brought to the presidential library in california where her husband is reposeand will lie in until her funeral on friday. her body arrived by casket earlier today.
may she gaze upon you lord, face to face and taste the blessings of perfect rest. may angels surround her and welcome her into peace into your hands, lord. our sister, nancy. [helicopters] live video of the scene at the reagan presidential library in california where you see the casket of nancy reagan who will like in repose until her funeral on friday shortly after 5:00. members of the public passing by
>> join c-span friday at 2:00 eastern for the funeral service for former first lady nancy reagan at the ronald reagan presidential library in california. first lady, michelle obama, former president george w. bush and laura bush are among the dignitaries attending the funeral. live coverage on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. ♪ >> c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact here. isthursday, our first guest a senior fellow for the american
center of progress and a senior fellow at american enterprise institute, joining us to discuss could's -- race, age impact this year's election and beyond. npr a policy reporter for joins to talk about the health care plans for the front runners of this year's presidential race. thursday beginning live 7:00 eastern. join the discussion. >> ahead of canadian prime minister's visit to the united states tomorrow, a group of journalists and foreign affair policy holders discuss u.s.-canadian relations. it is one hour and 40 minutes.
[applause] >> good evening. good evening, ladies and gentlemen. i am the editorial director of politico events. i am also canadian. so i am particularly thrilled to welcome you all here on behalf of politico to the special evening, a new agenda, canada and the united states in the world. we are kicking off a week of the first canadian visit in 19 years. -- touess from canada, our guests welcome to washington in the museum. a special welcome to those joining us today on the live stream at politico.com, c-span across united states and cpac in canada.
we are particularly excited to be hosting this bi-national event this evening. this year, we launched politico europe and already it has been voted the most influential news source in brussels. we look forward to more international politico events. tonight, we are having three conversations to set the table for this historic visit. first, we will explore the opportunities and obstacles for both of these leaders to work together, the newly elected government of prime minister justin trudeau and the outgoing administration of president barack obama. susan glasser will kick us off with a conversation about politics, the global economy, and trade, and then our energy reporter will examine the prospects for a clean energy agenda for north america.
lastly, i will conclude with a conversation about the syrian refugee crisis, what both countries are doing about it, and what the implications are for border security. before we get started, i would like to thank the canadian-american business council for making tonight's event possible, and i would like introduce scotty greenwood. i have known him for a long time. she has worked tirelessly to advance mutual understanding between these two countries. for as long as i know her, she has been advocating for a state visit, so i think the prime minister of those something to her tonight. thank you for your sponsorship tonight. scotty: thank you, bonjour. hello, everyone.
thank you so much for coming. thank you politico, catherine, the whole gang. we are delighted to be partnering with you. let me just say to you, there are plenty of seats in the front. i see a lot of obama administration officials sitting in the back. you can be in the front row. this is your week. this is the pregame show. welcome to the pregame. we are thrilled to be partnering with politico. we are thrilled for all of the events and activities happening this week. it's not just about style. the state dinner is great, but it is also about substance. so we will be watching will,lly, as you know you what happens when the visit and what happens afterwards.
i think this might be my first state to visit with a hashtag. this event is #anewagenda. say thank i want to you on behalf of my colleagues. we are really divided -- delighted to be here. we are looking forward to a terrific week. >> thanks. as scotty mentioned, you can follow the conversation on twitter at #anewagenda. now, without further delay, i would like to welcome susan glasser, politico editor, who will lead the first conversation. [applause] susan: good afternoon, everyone, and thank you very much. i have to say that i am very delighted that you are here this afternoon. we have a terrific panel and we
were getting started already in the back room. for those people who have labored in the vineyards of the u.s.-canada policy issues, this is a shocking moment when people are actually paying attention. in fact, senator amy klobuchar has been working on this issue for 10 years, as she just pointed out to me. we are delighted to have her with us today as well as don iversen, the columnist for the national post. he is a political expert and went all across the country in canada's last political election. we have the director of the school of global affairs at the university of toronto. please join me in welcoming them. [applause] as i said, i really wasn't being facetious, we had already jumped into our conversation backstage,
and i will tell you, there are a lot of panel discussions here in washington. it's our contribution to the gross national product. most of them do not start backstage. at politico, we are running an article called "justin fever hits washington." truly. predict, of all issues, which one would suddenly skyrocket to the top of our attention, here comes justin trudeau, and all of a sudden, washington has justin fever. an unnamed white house official in that story as saying that the new prime minister of your country is dreamy. perhaps it is a good contrast to our own election. senator, you have been working on this sue for a long time
when it was not front page news. >> when it wasn't glamorous. >> you just said there was a canada cool factor now. >> exactly. fever, forut justin a long time, canadians have been obsessed with president obama. my daughter is 20. we were discussing what she should do with her future. in a moment reminiscent of the scene in "the graduate," when dustin hoffman is told "plastics," i said, "canada." our time has finally come. when you think of president minister,the prime they both came in on platforms of change. when the in at a time country wanted to see something different. there is one thing that is different, besides the fact that the president's hair is grayer now. one thing that is different is that president obama came in during a time of crisis.
we were in the worst economic freefall since the depression. trudeau is coming in at a time where at least the economy is stable, giving him a moment where he can do some of the things obama has wished he had done from the beginning because he was dealing with everything from the stimulus package on down. the prime minister is talking about investing in clean energy and infrastructure. another piece of it is obama reached out to other countries and used a different approach when he got into office. i know and am very heartened by the fact that the prime minister is talking about extending canada's reach and upping their game internationally, whether it is peacekeeping or doing more with international aid and involvement. i think that is positive for the u.s. i see it as being from minnesota
where we can see canada from our porch, right? i see it as a major trading partner that so often gets overlooked. our number one trading partner. there is a lot of interest in the possibilities here, coordinating, whether it is our passage of goods across the border, whether it is our airports or the bridge from windsor to detroit, but also, a lot of our manufacturing standards and other things, that we can work to form a north american trading bloc in a really difficult global economy that i think will help all three of our countries. moderator: i am glad you mentioned trade. one of the things that is interesting is a new leader has not just renewed our interest in the atmospheric situation. there are some substantive issues on the table in this conversation, and clearly, the trade deal now pending is one of those. on one hand, you have president obama, who has expended a lot of
his personal credibility in negotiating the tpp, and you have prime minister trudeau, who has yet to officially dorse it. what are the politics of that and why would canada be reluctant to support something? is it because of the change of administration? steve: i think there are a couple of things going on. the tpp was negotiated by the previous government and there was a sense there had not been a lot of public discussion of it. there were promises made by the liberals during the campaign that they would go out and consult. the trade minister has been doing exactly that. signed the tpp, joined the signing ceremony in new zealand, but i think there are some issues that people are concerned about and there will be pressure to see if there can be some side letters related to intellectual property and indigenous peoples.
>> you covered the campaign. we are in the middle of our presidential campaign. the concept of free trade under attack from both parties right now, from donald trump on the right and bernie sanders on the left. there's a sense of a new kind of nationalism or a moment of economic nationalism here in the states. what does the new progressivism look like on canada's side? do you think there is also more of a political tide running against free trade as a principal, or is it just pragmatic? john: i think we will hear more about that this week. there was a white house call this morning, and the suggestion was very much that this is obama's top priority. i think he will push for trudeau to say something quite positive on it. the problem in canada is that on
the left, they are opposed to free trade. the liberals have traditionally been the party of the middle and supported trade agreements like nafta. i suspect they will support this again. and there is a growing feeling that on pharmaceutical costs and even some of the automakers -- i think ford is against it -- that this would kind of open up to japanese cars. so, there is a movement against it, and the liberals have kind of become experts of playing all sides of every issue. they wanted to pull out of the war against isil but still be part of the war. that maneuver is repeated on a number of occasions, and for the most part they get away with it. but sooner or later, they have to come down on one side or the other with tpp, and i think this week they will come down pro.
>> sort of a cost of admission at the state dinner? >> he wanted to get certain things, and i think there are things like software and lumber where we may get a little bit of quid pro quo. >> a word that senators do not like to use. i will not ask you about quid pr o quo. but i will ask you how much you think support for tpp will go away based on the 2016 election results? >> i think mitch mcconnell made it clear it will be something considered after the election. i think a lot of people think it will be considered during the lame duck. you could have the same congress that passed the tpa, which needed significantly more votes than the tpp. i think time will tell. many of us are still looking at the tpp, and it is not the number one thing on people's agenda right now. we are focused on this crazy
election where, one of the candidates who is no longer in the race talked about building a wall to canada. john: we want to keep the americans out who want to leave if trump gets elected. >> governor walker was asked about that. it was interesting from a canadian viewpoint. in my state, people were pretty focused on that. they thought it was a very bad idea. they started to think about how you would build it through a lake and other practical concerns. but it goes to the fact that after 9/11, when we think of some of these border issues and some of the work that the prime minister wants to do, there was, of course, a need for some changes. what i remember is we were
always talking about passport cards, and the northern senators being very cognizant of security concerns, but also cognizant of making commerce work. we got that taken care of. we have opportunities now to make infrastructure better between the borders, where we have some very busy intersections. we are trying to bring trucks in. possibly investing some private money in border control areas. that is a possibility. we are doing that on the mexican border. and the exciting news with our airports is that finally canada has eight with preclearance, which will allow people to fly to american airports. roy blunt and i noted that it was the only bill that passed in a month. a bill on getting luggage prescreened to canada. moderator: does donald trump know about this?
>> i do not know. i don't even know why i'm bringing it up. steve: canadians are worried about this. moderator: but seriously. >> the whole question of the border and freedom of congress is an issue that will be a major topic. >> my answer to this was, number one, when walker brought that up, i don't think it helped him much. the second thing that i think is counter to that fact is that the american people want to keep good relationships with canada, all our efforts have been to build up security at the airports so that people feel comfortable enough to fly. some of the other work can be done, including the crazy situation with the windsor, detroit bridge. finally people in michigan and canada moved to build a bridge. i have been to that bridge.
i know what a mess it is. it is time to build an additional bridge despite opposition from the person making money off the bridge. the way, we will have a conversation on border security. of aially in the context greater number of refugees from syria that canada has agreed to accept compared to the united states. the other conversation is about energy. this is seen as a major plank in the trudeau campaign. the idea we will campaign on clean energy. it is a shift from harper. and yet at the same time, the macroeconomics have changed dramatically. with the plunge in the price of oil and gas, how do you see that having repercussions on the u.s.-canada relationship?
the changing politics, the plunge in the price of oil, the economic change right now. john: the economy is stalling on that front. the economy is on a dual track because the dollar tumbled. manufacturing and exports are doing relatively well, particularly since the u.s. economy is picking up, but the oil price is hurting. udeau has promised to make all kinds of changes as far as climate change. and that is running into problems. you think the prime minister has a lot of executive power. but they are limited because of problems, which have effectively said we will not take federal regulation on a carbon tax. steve: we just had a meeting of all the premiers and the prime minister and they could not agree on a clear policy around a
bottom to carbon pricing. that's going to be a major political issue for canada going forward. you know that we have had great trouble in building any pipeline, not just because of keystone, but within canada, to get energy to market. so there is going to be a continuing pressure around this in this transition. the government is fundamentally committed, i am sure, to moving toward cleaner energy, to reducing our carbon imprint, but at the same time, that is a decades long transition and in the meantime, we have to figure out how to actually deliver a product to market. moderator: do you see a risk to the canadian economy if the u.s. were to elect a republican president in the strategies between the countries? steve: it is amazing that we have such coalescence right now of interest and values.
who knows if that will happen going forward? frankly, even the leading democratic candidate, mrs. clinton, is not as pro-trade as the canadian government would like her to be. so i think we will see accommodations having to happen, whether it is a democrat or a republican. >> on the energy front, there has been a lot of talk with the --ee countries come countries, mexico, energy transition. both countries have a lot of work to do with climate change, but this election is kind of a referendum on that. there are a lot of canadians who want to do something about climate change. there are a lot of americans who want to do it in a way that is not devastating to the economy. ,hat is why it is difficult when obama came in, we wanted to get that renewable electricity standard done, and we were one
vote short. then we went for cap and trade. because of all the pressures on the economy, it was a difficult time to do it. trudeau is coming in when the economy is more stable, but they have oil. but you have the oil price issue. john: there are real fiscal constraints on this government. he came in saying we would have modest deficits. the problem has been already that we have seen those deficits go from $10 billion to probably $30 billion in the next cycle. he also said we would be back in thence in four years, and debt to gdp ratio would fall. none of those things looks like it's going to happen. he started out campaigning. that's much easier than governing.
>> he will still have a longer honeymoon than president obama did. moderator: i was going to say, president obama could give him some advice on that. this question of canada's role in the world. the prime minister is finding it's a difficult issue to navigate. you want to pull out fighter jets in the war against isis but still be given credit for being part of the coalition. what do you think about the specific security role in the global campaign against isis and, more generally, do you see canada as looking more inward? stephen: no, i think the opposite. i think the government intends to look more outward, and i think there is a lot of impetus behind that. there is a long-term, secular trend here. our development assistance internationally, our commitment around defense has been going
down as a portion of gdp for 20-25 years. it's not just a harper government. there is a big change that has to take place. it can't just be imagining that canada will be back to what it was in the 1960's, liberal internationalism and peacekeeping. there are going to be some hard choices about defense and procurement. whether we are going to make increases to our overseas development assistance and at what level. it's going to be quite dramatic. some of the decisions that have to be taken. sen. klobuchar: when you look at wales, when you look at some of these major issues, afghanistan, canada was proud of their role, being by our side. they are still giving some funding, not as much true in
iraq. having trainers on the front line, certainly strong on ukraine and helping there with the major ukrainian population in canada, and then the fourth thing i would mention, is just the decisions that have to be made. just the gesture, the worldwide gesture that trudeau showed when he went to the airport and greeted the refugees. that was broadcast the world over. they have the numbers to show it. they are now forecast to get 25,000 syrian refugees. we are forecast to do 10,000. to get up to 35,500 by the end of this year. i would agree the discussion in the campaign, but that moment at the airport just signified a different approach to the rest of the world. john: there is a lot of symbolism with this government,
and that was first among them, the refugees. the reality is, there is a defense review this year. we've already pretty much seen a platform that's going to be continental defense, humanitarian aid, all the four horsemen of the apocalypse. we will be more suited to fighting famine than war. there's not enough money in the pot to buy all the stuff we went to buy and keep the forces doing what they have been doing. stephen: and we've done a horrible job on procurement for a long time, so there's a lot of catch-up at play. >> you call it a gesture, you called it symbolism. sen. klobuchar: it's not just symbolism when it's 25,000 real people with the projection to be 50,000. if you do the symbol and not the action, i was just saying the actions are happening right now. moderator: can the u.s. government match that? sen. klobuchar: i think the u.s. government should be stepping up their game in bringing the refugees.
we have to do it the right way, but the fact that canada has taken in more refugees i think shows we should have the ability to do this and should find a way. moderator: another gesture the trudeau government made right away was to announce that 50% of his cabinet would be women. the first time they had that in canada. we have never had anything like that in the u.s. senate. or the cabinet. should the next president make a pledge to have a 50% female -- >> i do not think the next president of the united states will do that. i think we can show by what we do and by example. i would love to see it happen. if it is a woman president, that is one big position that is taken by a woman. moderator: so that counts as extra seats? sen. klobuchar: it's like a big superdelegate. stephen: we are not doing so well with female members of parliament. >> what is your percentage? >> it's like 25%. moderator: that's higher than the u.s. congress, for sure.
of the women in senior cabinet have been impressive. moderator: we are almost out of time. i would love to know each of your predictions for what big take away we will have from this week. is it just going to be about justin fever? anything substantive? >> i agree if anything, it will be around trade and infrastructure related to trade. >> agreed. john: we will be singing kumbaya. not so much substance. moderator: building the wall? >> i do not think so. though --trump says the wall to mexico will have a door in it. will the wall to canada have a door in it? stephen: a garage door, so goods can get through. >> i really appreciated you kick this off today. we have a robust group of people around.
senator klobuchar, i have to thank you. you labored 10 years on this issue. sen. klobuchar: i am the only senator that had my swearing-in party at the canadian embassy. i just wanted to send the message that i think is being sent to our whole country and the world this week that this is our number one trading partner and as those proud banners were displayed on the canadian embassy for years, friend, partner, ally. they put that in the capital to send a message because that does not always happen in the rest of the world. even when we help other countries, they do not always want to admit we worked together. canada has gone the other way, and i think this is a great celebration of a relationship that has been a long time coming. so thank you. moderator: thank all of you. [applause]
>> thanks so much, susan. i am thrilled to be here tonight to continue conversation on a topic high on the agenda for prime minister trudeau and president obama's visit, climate change. i am a alana shore, energy reporter for politico. just a quick reminder to join the conversation on twitter using #anewagenda. i will have a tablet with me on stage and will be able to pull questions for our panelists. please join me in greeting mr. robin sylvester, president and ceo of metro vancouver. craig dobson, vice president of
energy policy for the center of american progress. silva, a senior representative to the u.s. for the government of alberta. and anthony swift, director of the national resources defense council canada project. thanks for being here. let's get started. one thing that struck me in today's initial announcement was the oil and gas industry's involvement. specifically on the question of methane, president obama has made a commitment to cut methane by as much as 45% over the next decade, and canada is expected to meet that pledge, but there are some hurdles involved. i hope we can turn first to greg to address. what more do we need to see other than a base level of commitment from the governments? greg: there is so much common ground between canada and the united states. there are potentially many areas to work together on. methane is one.
as you look over the past few years, we have a highly integrated automotive sector. we are increasingly connected by policy, where we had trading among provinces. california, we are increasingly connected physically as our grids connect and we cross transmission lines. there are now 30 of them. and what that is resulting in is a robust and growing trade and clean energy. this is a promising set of areas for the leaders to engage in. fewrtunately, for the last years, they have been completely obsessed, and the national conversation has been controlled by keystone xl. i think we are now in a situation where the project is behind us. we have prime minister trudeau's landslide election in october. we can turn the page. i think working on methane is a good example of where the countries can work together.
in both cases, you have a situation where federal governments are going to have to work with their states and provinces to get it done. that could be rulemaking. >> anthony, you have made methane a major point of contention. what are you hoping to see to translate these promises into reality? there have been passed commitments to harmonize the approach to methane. we are hoping to see something 45% reduction by 2025. something that may hint at measures to deal with existing sources of methane. that would be more ambitious than what is on the table. methane is going to be part of the solution when it comes to the u.s. and canada meeting their climate targets, but it's not going to be the only part, as greg mentioned.
there is a broader range of opportunities when it comes to electric vehicle policies, a new approach to looking at projects and policies to make sure we incentivize the clean energy and build the clean energy economy we need to transition into and slow down the expansion to some of the higher carbon projects. moderator: absolutely. i am glad you mentioned that, because the next topic is what exactly we should use to judge a project. you refer to a critical climate test as a benchmark. as a reporter who covered keystone xl for five years and heard climate test and thought, what does that mean? recently, we have seen some great principles from what that would look like. i would like to turn to someone from the government on this. frankly, when ngos refer to a climate test, they are referring to alberta first and foremost.
but obviously, all sorts of projects. from your perspective, do you think a climate test should be applied and what would that look like? >> alberta understands we cannot continue to increase emissions without limits. is methane,lements reducing by 45% by 2025. carbon,is a price on $20 a ton and that will increase to $30 a ton by 2018. when fully implemented, that will cover 90% of alberta's economy. we have instituted a cap on emissions. we know we cannot grow without limit, but we believe we can grow the economy while driving down emissions. we will also phase out coal-fired electricity. currently, 45% of our energy comes from coal. we are going to replace one
third of that with renewables and one third from natural gas. with the new government in alberta and with the new government in ottawa, there is a real change coming out of canada. moderator: absolutely. this is a benchmark for future emissions. is that something you can see ultimately integrated, maybe on the provincial level or the national level. gitane: if the government changes the process for energy going for it, albert's expectations for the plan will be taken into that, to demonstrate the steps we are taking in reduction of the missions. -- emissions. and resources and finding a way to market now, we are going by real -- rail, and the building of the pipeline could produce emissions, it is an option. moderator: absolutely.
so, for the audience, the united nation climate discussions focused on what it would mean to avert a 2% -- two degree increase, the to pinpoint for climate change. when we talk about the climate test, that is what is in the mirror looking ahead and break and anthony, if you want to jump in -- greg and anthony, if you want to jump in on what i would look like. susan: i think -- nine greg: i think that the government deserves recognition for the steps they are taking. they are making up for lost time . the oil sector is going to a change right now and there are questions about how much of the various resources will be developed in the parts of the world. think that the key thing that paris will do, they'll help to get countries on the same page about where we are heading. once we understand that and policies flow from that, then i
think that a lot of business people will creep out to everybody. >> i would also agree that alberta made a strong step forward with their climate plan. i might push back a little on the idea that a climate test would simply be a means of focusing on one province or sector, they are really opportunities -- there are really opportunities in the u.s. and canada, that drive on long-term -- thrive on long-term decisions. this is a roadmap for determining whether a project is economically consistent with the two degrees celsius scenario or not. just as a bit of a background on how we see that working, you know, right now when looking at long-term planning, we rely on --els that assume that by with a six degree celsius warming into those models for market assume much more robust prices for fossil fuels.
moving for come after paris part of -- moving forward, after paris part of -- one of the necessary steps to provide lawmakers with the tools they need to make decisions in accordance with their imperatives, is to begin to model out what to degrees celsius does for global prices or for fossil fuels and clean energy. that very meant -- that very well could be coming that could create dynamics where clean energy products become more viable than they would in a six degrees celsius world, where as other projects are more viable. moderator: an important point. since you mentioned the scheme of energy products, let's pull ,ack and start with gitane where the main deliverables you expect on the topic of energy? gitane: i think it is great that
they are meeting. this is fabulous. the prime minister had a meeting with all of the creamers where they spent a day -- premieres, where they spent a day talking about clean energy innovation and how we can move forward as a nation. the fact that our economy is so integrated to come up with a common goal and for alberta to take the steps made it, this is essentially the texas of canada, and for them to have these types of policies, we would love it for those in the u.s. to take the same steps we have taken. take those steps on making -- steps with methane and things. we're and justly waiting to see what happens in helping create opportunities for us to participate in real partnerships at the national level or state level. moderator: greg and anthony, that was a fabulous answer to narrow that. president obama has one year left, what would you expect with
these commitments, what can be carried out before the president leaves office? take for granted the value of just the meeting. there are important steps to take on methane. there are important steps for collaboration, both canada and the u.s. are warming and the arctic is warming is that twice as fast. twice as fast. we can have a collaboration on collective science, it truly a step forward for the countries. a lot can be done. i would not underestimate the value of the two countries working together in other international forums. international aviation organization, that is important. if they are working together on the north american amendment of --, i think that is important. those are things that can happen this year. and i reserve the right to be
surprised, because what i think what you have are motivated leaders that want to get things done. when that happens, surprising things can happen. i will be watching as everybody will be for the next couple of days. gitane: oftentimes, just being on the same page can be enough. moderator: anthony, anything to add? anthony: i might reframe that to ask, what can't be done this year? the u.s. has been moving for it on many areas where it has authority to regulate carbon and methane emissions. to sum it said, the -- to some extent, the of ministers and has plenty to run on the climate and further establish its legacy. moderator: absolutely. turning to robin. you provided an amazing case study about the on the ground challenges to transitioning to clean energy. if you can't say a little bit about what you -- can say is little bit about what you
reported. there is a difference between the public sector and private sector and trade is important to our quality of life on a personal basis and moving products by vessels of the most common and efficient way to move product. ports and shipping are large energy users. so the framework that we established, which i think is unique in being a cross-border, nongovernment led framework, was a collaboration between ourselves and the ports into,. to proactively set bills for quality improvement, recognizing at the end of the day, the air flows across the border pretty easily and we want to impacted any positive way. this was set up in 2007, that declared common goals for carbon reduction,, goals -- and put in place a process that in every
five years, reporting publicly how we were doing. wasthe big advantage there transparency and accountability, and also clear, goals. that led -- and also clear, common goals. everybody was working to achieve those goals in the same way it would have prioritized different projects. in seattle, one thing they are putting far -- before it is -- power. and we have large quantities of hydroelectric power, so plugging a ship along the dock, that means they can switch off a diesel engine and draw hydropower. the challenges, that means investment. we need ships to invest, we need investment in structure, we need to work with the providers for the power and getting all of those things to come together is not always easy. it would be essential to really have that common goal and to
recognize that while we may compete with each other to get the cruise ships to call there, we will not be competing on the environment. having a common standard for environment, that goes to anthony is saying about every sector, commercially you need a long-term disability for the epicenter investments. -- infrastructure investments. moderator: you hear that a lot. cann: so the more we provide an environment like that, the better. and in vancouver, we have a program where we provide reduction -- the fees that ships pay for the port, for those who use more than the legal minimum. if they are burning cleaner fuel , meeting different standards, they get a reduction. and it is helping us meet these clean energy targets. that itself has been recognize by branson. and endorsed as one of the global leading practices. moderator: they just a.
so hearing what -- moderator: very interesting. sayearing what robin has to , our people on the same page? the, i think that one of the pieces here is the transition to a clean air economy will require getting the policies right to ensure that industry has the right incentives to expand and make long-term investments into the projects that will both lower carbon emissions and build economic growth in areas. we have seen that play out in both canada and the u.s., to some extent, but there is no question that there are many more opportunities for that to play out on a larger scale moving forward. moderator: absolutely. the big aspect of the certainty factor you discussed, i
,ncounter as a reporter, really and as you know we learned during the years of the keystone debate, electric projects, natural gas products and -- projects and oil products are divided by three u.s. agencies. canada's system is different, but that could create confusion, people working on these issues have a hard time keeping a straight. i am interested in anybody's thoughts on whether that system can or should be changed to make it more simple five -- simplified? >> we saw legislative proposals in the last few years to integrate decisions into one decision-maker. i do not see a lot of benefit to doing that. particularly electricity providers are not competing with oil copies, they are different sectors. what i would focus on rather than the procedural reform, is to focus on, what is the outcome
we want? thou come we should want -- the outcome we should want is a lower emissions future. so legislative proposals for change in the u.s. >> i would agree with greg on that. to some extent, that is why we need to begin to consider climate in a way that we have not, with every structure decisions, making -- infrastructure decisions, making those decisions, understanding that those products is what they will be judged on. does this project make sense in the context of commitments following paris. that will provide more certainty to the process. thoughts: gitane, your on these processes? gitane: i think that you want regulatory certainty that in
alberta, 20 some percent of the government's role to -- governments revenue comes from royalties. so the system works with the industry. and people need confidence in regulators. the federal government in canada, they are making changes and they shut a regular down for not making changes. people were assured by that, knowing that the regular would act. regardless of how the system is a structure, people need faith it is doing the job it was set out to do. moderator: and judging from what greg and anthony said, they have that with the carbon fee. that caught a lot of attention, -- you have taxes of canada now you have the texas of canada putting on that fee, when even the texas of america is not doing that. how are they setting the bar, or
at least for other provinces to look at clean energy? gitane: albert's perspective is that carbon is key to climate change. we are very blessed with all of the glass -- gas resources and some other parts have hydro, we think it is up to each jurisdiction to come up with an approach that makes sense for them. in alberta, we can achieve a lot of reduction, the images -- emissions are high. is forr places, hydro them, and to make that final push will be harder. so different places need to make a plan that works best for them. each administration needs to take action and we are happy that we have a partner in the federal government. hopefully, we can have natural -- national coordination and i think that it will lead to better things for the entire
continent. moderator: robin? robin: -- so it was neutral for the business sector, but it did not have an effect on behavior change. there are industries that have grappled with the tax. i think that they would strongly echo some for -- form of from a guy keeps the playing field level. moderator: absolutely. which raises a great follow-up. as far as i know, we're not sure which clean energy investments will receive the funding, but if we are, let me know. the fund -- gitane: all the revenue raised will remain in alberta. there'll be transit, initiatives
like that, funding other initiatives for technology and also helping low income families communitieshose heavily dependent on the coal industry to make the adjustment from coal to other ways of electricity. moderator: they do not see carbon caps? gitane: there has been a huge investment in carbon storage in alberta, by the province. and there are some projects up and running. some of them to came online in november. with the money, we have a management fund now, so prior to largerbon --, we had industrial sources pay fef in missions were over a certain -- pay a fee if emissions were over a certain bar. it was based on a sector wide
performance. for those industries that perform better than those average, pay a lower amount for longer. so it is a very strong incentive for the industry. to make it as efficient as possible and as quickly as possible and some fun will go into funding -- some funds will go into funding where they need a boost, taken some from the small to the biggest scale. ,oderator: greg and anthony what said no might this -- signal might decide to american policymakers? >> we are in an exciting transition. it, not just for north america, but for the plan of the whole. in british climate, there is a developer time -- there is a three dollar carbon tax. monaco the, quebec, the have linked the system with california. so we actually now have -- we
are legally connected in ways that are related to climate change. the northeastern states have a program. in the u.s. right now, one third of our economy lives under this. a threeo, we have dollar as he sent -- $3.50 per ton price on carbon. it is happening in china and the european union and around the world. i think that we are in this. where our children will grow up in a world where the systems grow together in some way. moderator: and their political debate -- as you put out -- as you point out, we are living under them. these have gotten very sharp. anthony, how can this week of discussions held eliminate that? >> i think one part of this is concentrating on the opportunities that are really
before us, in terms of both clean energy strategies and climate. the reality is, many of these policies actually build economic growth. we have seen that in the u.s. and there are many opportunities in alberta to have a clean energy industry that will create jobs and economic development. moving forward, the 20,000 foot level, we are at a stage where a new conversation has begun. it is focusing on all the opportunities between the u.s. and canada to build a deeper integration as they both move forward to meet their targets. and i think that that will be the continual goal moving forward. is this solution package enough to bend the dimensions curve -- bend the admissions curve to meet targets. i think that will be a process for which, which there is a
point, but not an endpoint. moderator: absolutely. that brings up the power of symbolism. something on my mind. canada, thereand is a static going around if those targets can be met? as you pointed out earlier, it isn't credibly symbolically important for these two leaders to meet together with similar, almost identical agendas right now. how do you suppose the leadership should navigate these? we promise to me and we have the questions -- meet and we have questions, so how important is it that we agree? of two of the meeting the top 10 emitters, so it will play a symbolic role, the fact we are aligned in aspiration is
critical. and i would say, you know, our targets are ambitious, but we have little doubt that these are mutable. if you look at -- meetable. if you look at the steps that have been made, they are likely to bend the curve that maybe modeling have not shown yet. of course, we are seeing genetically different energy environment and that is in some ways doing us favors by reducing emissions projections. i think a another way of putting this is the consequence of not meeting these targets would be substantial and potentially, much more catastrophic than any -- meeting them. we are finding the policies we need to meet these targets actually build economies and will position both canada and the u.s. to compete in the world
transitioning to cleaning the g -- to clean energy. moderator: the primus are met with the premiers -- prime minister met with the premiers last week and if you read the declaration that came out of that, there were aspirational moments and a clear series in between, that they are setting up for working groups that need to report to a specific minister on a timeline and that report will be made public. that is important too. you have to have steps and you need to be transparent. gitane: and you could change your mind along the way, but there is an element of actually keeping people engaged and it demonstrated the work you are doing and why you're making the decisions you are making. that is important. moderator: everybody loves transparency. greg, any thoughts on this? greg: i think a final point to make is that these two leaders are at different points in their
careers. i think that the primus are deserves -- prime minister deserves credit for what he is doing. he has been in office for six months and i think he had to work very fast and has done so successfully for the paris agreement and now we are just a few months past that. so i think that we will see, there is a lot of conversation, infrastructure capacity building and thought that will be happening in the coming years. and i think i emphasize the importance of the election in the united states, so if you will continue to have a partner he will agree with him on policy goals. moderator: what are your thoughts on symbolism and substance? bein: the common roadmap can created. it can unlock the private sector to deliver solutions. we get lost in differential
approaches with different targets, we will not achieve as big a goal as we can if we get a common roadmap. there will be local differences, but heading in a common direction. moderator: i am glad that you brought up the coming election. can you give your thoughts on how that will affect perspective, because we don't know whether a democrat or republican will be here next year? gitane: we watch elections elected,but whoever is we will work with. there are some canada -- there are some policies that are more prone canada on the democratic side, others on the republican side. we will watch and take it from there. moderator: i think with that, we are out of time. thank you. i want to thank the panel for being here. for our final conversations, i would like to welcome back
louisa savage, "politico" director of events. louisa: thank you, everyone, for staying with us this evening. for our final conversation, we will talk about the refugee crisis and the implications for border security. without any delay i would like to welcome our esteemed panelists. alan bersin is the assistant secretary for international affairs and chief diplomatic officer at the u.s. department of homeland security's. laura dawson is the director of the canadian institute at the wilson center. henshaw the principle secretary at the department of state. and commissioner gil kerlikowske. thank you for being here. [applause] six months ago, the trudeau government was elected on the ambitious promise of taking in
and resettling 25,000 refugees. last month, that mission was announced to be accomplished. previously, canada took in, all told, 20,000 refugees per year. this is not only a big increase, but in the context of a u.s. comparison, that would be, you know, like taking in almost 250,000 refugees into the united states. so, there have been a lot of questions raised in washington about what that really means for this country. i would like to discuss today how this policy is being method -- implemented in canada, how it compares to the united states refugee policy, what it means for u.s. border security, and what kinds of new border policies or agreements we can expect to emerge from these meetings from the prime minister and the president this week. i would like to kick it off with laura. you testified to the united states senate explaining canada's refugees policies.
can you tell us in a nutshell, how these refugees are being resettled, where they are going, and how they are being vetted? ms. dawson: sure. the most important thing to know is this is a low-risk group of refugees coming to canada. it is something like 60% women, 20% children -- folks that have been in a refugee camp for a long time, and there is a great deal of pre-vetting that goes on to begin with. what has to happen is within the government system, they are first vetted by the u.n. high commission for refugees, and they come up with a short list. in the private system, a similar shortlist takes place. once they are short-listed, canadian immigration officials get involved, and there is a lot of vetting, communications, checking, security, health, medical records -- all of the
canadian checks are checked against american lists. it is an automatic process, dottedll of the i's are and the t's are crossed that it is all done before they leave wherever they happen to be. luiza: how are they finding homes? ms. dawson: there is a public and private program. with the public program, the government assists them with finding homes. program,private community-based groups, church groups, they help to sponsor the refugees. it is about two thirds in the government program. it is a big number.
25,000, but canadians have risen to the occasion. the communities have gotten really involved. they are taking this initiative very seriously, very personally, and if you look at canadians ,hrough history, the vietnamese post-world war ii, post uprising in hungary, there is a canadian tradition of taking it large numbers of refugees, -- taking in large summers of refugees, people in need. luiza: tell us about the political context because it is hard to imagine the scenario here of a political leader making this a selling point, where it has been so controversial, but in canada, my understanding is the controversy has been more about -- are you doing fast enough? well enough? is that correct? ms. dawson: yeah, that seems to be the case. trudeau has challenged canadians to define the kind of people that they are -- i am a canadian -- the kind of people that we are. canadians are welcoming, that canadians value diversity, and
that canadians provide a safe haven for people in need. if there were a tipping point, it might have been the photo in the media that we saw, the tragic photo of the toddler on the beach. canadians saw that, and their hearts were broken. they said no more -- we are going to assist. we are going to do what we need to do to help the syrians anyway we can. luiza: ok, only this morning, senator klobuchar said she thought the united states could do more. can you tell us what the united states is doing, what your strategy is on refugees, and also, how does that number get set -- to take 10,000 versus 25,000? mr. henshaw: thanks. asking about our strategy leads me to want to talk about the overall program, and then i will get into resettlement. our overall focus is supporting refugees overseas where they are, so they can return to their r -- ores once wa
whatever let them to flee -- has ended. much of our effort goes overseas. the united states is the largest funder of refugee programs overseas. in syria, and the region alone since the outbreak of the fighting there, we put in $5.1 billion. we support international organizations, ngo's by the dozens in supporting refugees both inside syria -- well, that is not refugees. that is internally displaced persons inside syria, and refugees around it. our focus in the past few months has been looking at how we can extend support so that we have better education programs for all the children there, and we have been working with those countries that have taken the refugees to try to expand employment opportunities for refugees. the united states is the largest
re-settler of refugees the world. we have a consistent and measured program in the last three years we brought and -- in the last three years, we brought in 70,000, more than all the other countries brought together. this year, we plan to bring in 85,000, and next year we are looking to go up to 100,000. of that, syrians will be at least 10,000 this year, and more next year. so, we feel like we have got our program started, the syrian program started and that we are on the right track to bring in a lot of syrians over the next few years. because our program is somewhat measured and carefully laid out, we do have a history of starting, i think slowly, with , new populations. when someone enters our system, it is usually 18 or 24 months before they come out the other side.
so, if you look at the syrian numbers here, they are not as high as canada's, but if you look over the next few years, i think you will see our numbers grow and improve. i will give you a couple of examples of populations we have been working on the past two years to demonstrate that, to show that i'm not just blowing hot air. we brought in 140,000 iraqis over the last eight years, and 140,000 burmese out of malaysia and thailand in the last 10 years. so, we have a commitment to bring in an refugees and we're going to continue that. luiza, u.s., number was set -- i will give a quick answer -- the president says that every summer in a message to congress. luiza: thanks. what happens when the various governors who have come out across the country saying we do not want any syrian refugees in our state -- what does that mean for you -- you have to avoid
that state and find someone else to -- somewhere else to send them, or is that just politics? mr. henshaw: our political polarized, andy so we hear from both sides. but we do hear from local communities that it is great and they are support and those other us in are important to resettling refugees. we have had some pushback from some states and some governors, but it is a federal process in bringing in refugees and resettling them. we do depend on the support of local communities. we do not want to send people into hostile areas, but we really have not run into that. most local communities that we work with -- and it is a must read hundred around the country -- are welcoming. so, the short answer is no, it
has not. luiza: can we pull back the length -- we are talking 10,000 here, 25,000 there. there have been more than one million refugees that have arrived in europe, and there was an article this week that the united nations high commission on refugees said europe could explode, and they said, into "widespread violence" on a count -- account of this. is there any result to do -- is there a strategy here? mr. henshaw: resettlement has never been the center of a refugee strategy. our policy has been to support refugees where they are and that is the same for the european crisis. our belief is we can make the situation better for refugees in the countries in which they first fled, they are less likely to take dangerous trips to other places. resettlement has always been something we do for the most vulnerable people out of that population. we typically focus on people with medical problems, families led by women, lgbt cases that cannot cope with the local community they are in -- things like that. it has not been, for us, a way
of resolving the refugee crisis. luiza: but the obama administration, in its platform in the world, are you telling europe about how you think they ,hould be dealing with a crisis is there a concentrated effort, or is this just ad hoc patchwork in europe where some countries are welcoming refugees, others are trying to keep them out? what is the administration's approach to the crisis? mr. henshaw: so, yes, we are in contact with european colleagues. we do provide a little bit of support in the balkans, but we do not see europe as an aid recipient, so there is not a massive program underway. we are encouraging the eu to have a unified policy and deal with refugees in a good and humanitarian manner. there are also some law enforcement and border control
areas along with some naval areas that we have worked on with the europeans, which are not particularly in my -- [indiscernible] luiza: i would like to turn to the assistant secretary. there have been concerns here in the u.s. about what potential security threats refugees could face. at the hearing on the hill, they pointed out that the fbi director james comey talked to congress last fall and he said screening iraq war refugees was not perfect. there were a few people later arrested on terrorism related charges. he also talked about there being challenges because there are on the ground, i
am sorry, -- -- they are not in the ground in iraq -- in syria, the way they were in a wreck collecting information, and he said if we do not know much about someone, there will not be anything in our data, but cannot tell anyone with absolute assurance there is no risk associated. can you tell us about the security measures that are being taken with the people being let into the u.s.? mr. bersin: the first proposition is there is never a zero risk in anything in life, let alone security vetting. having said that, as laura said in her comments, particularly with regard to the canadian refugee situation, this is a process that is calculated to reduce the risk, and it is done in a variety of ways. as simon indicated, the flow of refugees into the united states when resettlement is chosen has been ongoing for 35, 36 years, now. this is a process that has been in existence. granted, after 9/11, an increase in the in the context of the
isil threat, we were, and the commission will describe how we work to improve the processes in vetting, so that we are bringing to bear all the resources, all the data that we have with regard to these terrorist risks or criminal risks. what we have done in the context of the canadian situation is actually employ the very robust information-sharing practices that we have, in effect, between our two countries, and that have been strengthened considerably since beyond the border. so, for example, as laura explained, all of the refugees that were being brought into canada are being checked against not only canadian databases, the the u.s.ainst databases. along the border we have automated the exchange of biometric data so that we can receive biometric data from
canada, check it in a federated search of our holdings in a security sense, and in real time respond to canada with regard to any derogatory information that we have uncovered. having said that, much of the data that we hold comes from the data that was gathered by military, as your question or comment suggested, in iraq and afghanistan, and in other ways in which we have shared with our partner countries around the world, but to the extent that we do not have that data, against which we can check biographic ores, and dates of earth biometrics -- fingerprints -- you are operating in the zone of the unknown. luiza: that would be very interesting -- how do you deal
with -- mr. bersin: so, commissioner gil kerlikowske is in a position to indicate how we actually use intelligence assessments to search in a big data way for certain indicators, or certain facts that have been brought to our attention by intelligence, and then you can reduce the pool of potentially high-risk visitors or refugees, and then take action accordingly, but it is not -- it is not as precise as having a watchlist of high-risk persons, against which you then vet incoming biographic, or biometric information. luiza: commissioner, that was a handoff to you. can you also talk about what changes, if any, you have brought into more security policies in light of the 25,000 syrian refugees that have been
taken in by canada? comm. kerlikowske: the one thing that is very important to understand is we have had this great working relationship with the government of canada. when assistant secretary bersin was the assistant secretary of order protection, he initiated a number of outreach efforts, and now with the new government, we believe that many of those are coming to fruition. so, our ability to exchange and share information with the royal canadian mounted police, and other agencies -- and my counterparts at canada's border security agencies, is very, very good. when you explain, and when i howeve how laura explained, ted itople are being vet
, is very thorough, and when you think about the process in the united states, if you were intending to do harm, would you spend the next two years after submitting your fingerprints, photograph, and subjected yourself to incredible numbers of interviews, etc. -- is that the way you try to enter the country if you want to do harm? before you go -- what is taken out of context -- not out of context, but out of the perspective of both director clapper, isrector they always end their comments with you think you should be more concerned about that refugee, it would be a home-grown terrorist, someone that has been radicalized in this country, not someone coming in. luiza: i want to pick up on something interesting you said -- the process on the u.s. side takes two years, and we're talking about 25,000 in a matter of months. does that raise any particular issues on the u.s. side, and how are you coping with that in terms of border security?
comm. kerlikowske: i think what is missing, and i think laura made partial points in this area -- they are not taking any young men -- frankly young men of a , fighting age could be more concerning. they are taking families. secondly, the population that they are drawing from our people that have left syria for quite some time and have been in camps, etc.. it is not as if someone has crossed the border and is now going to be taken quickly into canada. there are a lot of people over there. canada and india, and explanation that have been given to me -- in the explanations that have been given to me, is doing a thorough job, and they are sharing and exchanging information with us. luiza: so, turning now to the meetings that are coming up this
week -- there has been a long process since 9/11 of remaking our border management processes -- for a while it was focused on security post-9/11, and that we realized it was also a commerce issue and economic issue, and i know your department has worked hard to facilitate trade. so, what do you see as a potential outcome of these talks this week that would move the ball forward on border management cooperation? comm. kerlikowske: i think we are going to see, and without wanting to steal the thunder from the prime minister and the president, we will be announcing a number of developments of what has really been a radical transformation in the way in which canadians and americans view the border. there used to be a debate about thickening or thinning out the border -- that after 9/11, the border became sick because of the american preoccupation with security. what we have worked out over the last four or five years together is an understanding that the old dichotomy between trade facilitation and security is actually a false not economy.
-- false dichotomy. the notion you have to lower your security to speed up the movement of trade across the border has given way to a much more sophisticated view that recognizes we do risk management. we make assessments together to -- together, customs and border protection, and this ebsa judgments to which there is a risk presented by any passenger or any cargo, and having done that you are in a position to expedite the movement of lawful trade and travel. if it is judged to be low-risk, nexus members, for example, that ast have been pre-vetted travelers you are a low-risk , traveler, and we expedite your movement across the border back and forth from canada to the united states. that, by definition, then permits our resources -- our enforcement resources, to focus on the remaining travelers who
are either high-risk, or higher risk, or travelers about which we lack sufficient information to make a judgment as to where -- whether they are high-risk or low-risk. that perspective has, as i said, revolutionized the way in which we move ahead. the old thickening and thinning rhetoric has given way to the notion that we could actually have both by making the haystacks smaller by moving lawful trade travel. by making lawful trade travel, we facilitate the finding of the needle in the haystack, the higher risk person. luiza: without stealing the thunder -- what can we expect --an exit/entry agreement? will there be more datasharing? what are you even looking for? mr. bersin: let me defer to the commissioner, but it is fair to
say the issues that haven't been talked about, entry/exit, preclearance, enhanced information -- have been talked about. that should be the subject. luiza: can you explain entry/exit? comm. kerlikowske: sure. we have the ability to exchange information. assistant secretary alan bersin testified on visa overstays, a significant issue, which we need because we do not really , have a biometric exit system in this country for, for instance, for fingerprints. people come in on a visa, but we do not always know did they leave, and did they leave on time? we need to be able to exchange and do more of that information. so i think you will see greater , exchanges of information. luiza: so, basically, if you are an american leave in the united ,- leaving the united states driving into canada, canada will then turn around and give that information back to the american
government to say this person has left the country? comm. kerlikowske: is also less about u.s. citizens, the more about foreign nationals. luiza: but it will cover u.s. citizens and canadians, so a canadian coming into the united states will also now have a record of coming in and out. comm. kerlikowske: so, what we have been doing the last couple of years between canada and the united states, as the commissioner suggested, third-country nationals, neither americans or canadians, when you cross the bridge into detroit or windsor, we use the canadian entry. this is good evidence of a u.s. exit. we have been doing that all of -- on all of our borders for the last couple of years. whether or not that is extended will be announced by our leaders over the course of the week. luiza: so, laura, the issue has
been around this whole plan of privacy. can you talk about what some of the concerns that have been on the canadian side that have been holding this up? ms. dawson: certainly, there are concerns about privacy, but backing it up, my mom lives on the border. she is a great cross-border shopper. she thought you were tracking this for years. she had no idea she could have in herlling her backseat car with stuff. comm. kerlikowske: we knew. ms. dawson: now that we are systematizing it, institutionalizing it, especially a newly elected government, wants to review the process to make sure it is protecting canadian and u.s. privacy rights, to make sure it is being done correctly. no new government wants to a policy from the
previous government and not around the block. i think that is more what is going on in canada, rather than any significant red flags being raised. luiza: so, what are your best predictions for what the leaders will announce this week? ms. dawson: i am big on entry/exit. i think that is something that is really doable. i think that is something the president would like to see for the beyond the border program that he launched. i think he would like that as a success story, and the canadians, as we have seen, are really motivated towards cooperation. luiza: that is interesting. i would like to go back to the issue of refugees. there is one detail about the canadian program that i think is interesting, and i understand different from the u.s. program, and that is the role of private individuals in actually sponsoring refugee families. can you talk about that, and your own personal experience? ms. dawson: absolutely. possibly one-third of the canadian sponsorships are under the private program -- luiza: when you say sponsors
-- ms. dawson: this is the community groups, church groups -- any group of canadians that wants to get together and can come up with enough money to support a family of four for a full year, can find their housing, help them with education, everything they need to get settled and established, because, frankly, canadians are not any different from americans, you know? they get a little bit nervous when there are a whole bunch of new people in the community, and nobody knows where they come from and they have different cultures, each different foods, but as soon as they go to their first hockey practice, as soon as they are in school with the kids, dig out from their first blizzard, that makes them canadian. so, this canadian private sector, private-group sponsorship, is a really important way of integrating into the community. i was involved in the united church of canada sponsorship program, and i was just floored by the level of commitment that the volunteers put into not just
getting the folks to canada, not just senior citizens from ottawa trying to figure out how to get an interpreter who could communicate with someone from sudan, but also, once they were in the country, the health -- getting the kids to doctors appointment, dental appointments. making sure that they learn to skate and participate in sports activities, these community groups helped to support, they helped to encourage and we're talking about radicalization. the best way to prevent it is to get kids in school, families in the community and families involved and become embedded in these communities.
luiza: i wonder, is this getting better, or is the crisis getting worse? simon: i want to briefly mention that we settle our refugees to a private and public partnership. this is settled by one of nine ngo's, six of them faith-based. we are proud of how we work with local ngos and groups in the community to resettle refugees. no, is a getting better? no, it is not getting better. it is getting worse. 60 million people are refugees or displaced and that is the problem. we have a system that has worked for a long time, since world war ii, but it is overwhelmed with numbers. it is not enough money, or help. that is why this year, the world community is focusing on a series of steps that will
-- this will be focusing on increasing the amount of money that countries are contribute in, the number of countries commi --contributing and the cases worldwide, and supporting the support of those refugees within the countries they first fled. we are looking for a way to focus on the issues to get more support and do more about the numbers, because there is no sign of them going down. luiza: what do you see coming out of the meetings this week? i'm sure this will come up. simon: i am sure it will. canada and the united states have been leaders in the refugee world for years. there will be a commitment to the series of conferences over the year and working out an improvement for the humanitarian system, so we can all do more, with the help of other nations. ask the would like to
commissioner, about the wall? what goes through your mind when you hear the debate about a wall, whether it is mexico or with canada? rhetoricis a lot of that as the vice president indicated in a recent meeting in mexico, was not to the american people are and i think that the record that simon talked about in terms of the refugee record, let alone the fact that all of us say, for us as a native immigrants, we are everybody is an immigrant in this country. this is part of our history, the culture, there is traditionally the underside of the fact that we are all immigrants. suggestnot take that to that the majority of americans, that we need a wall that is high and mighty from san diego to
brownsville. attest,ommissioner can we have used, as a matter of border security, walt in -- walls in different places to assist with security on different borders, basically a wall-to-wall people out is inconsistent with who we are as americans and our history and our traditions. so i would pass that off as a rhetorical device in an overheated electoral campaign. luiza: i heard it is going to be a beautiful wall, so -- er: we have integrated towers, we have radar, cameras, we have infrared. our apprehensions on the border are lower than -- within the
last year, then at any time in the last 10 years. we are below 400,000 now, but there was a time where we apprehended 1.6 million people coming across the borders. those 80's from tucson to el paso -- those cities from tucson --el paso, they have numbers as to how safe they are. and for anybody who has visited the border, they would realize how impossible it would be to build a fence or wall, given the terrain and given the incredible cost. luiza: so it would be impossible to board -- build on the northern border? commisioner: we have over 2000 border patrol agents on the northern border and we have great cooperation. so i think it is just balancing that.
it is a part of the heated rhetoric, unfortunately, that is going on or now. luiza: once you get the wall through the great lakes, the rest is easy. thank you all for being with us. i want to thank cnbc their wonderful support of tonight's program. everybody in the audience, thank you for joining us. for everybody here, we have cocktails for you. do not run away. and thank you all for joint -- you all who joined on the extreme. big screen. and with c-span. ♪