About the CN Forum

2010 CN Forum: Border Trade, Travel and Security Chris Sands, Michael Kergin and Adam Salerno

2010 Agenda, Papers, etc.

2010 Summary


  • Christopher Sands, Hudson Institute, Senior Fellow and Affiliate of John Hopkins and American Universities, Lecturer to U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security (immediate foreground)
  • Michael Kergin, Former Canadian ambassador to the United States and senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (pictured middle)
  • Adam Salerno, Senior manager, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Former Business Liaison for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (far right)

Canadian Studies Center hosted a benchmark policy discussion on campus in February that explored next steps for advancing trade, security, and transportation at the U.S. and Canada border. Consul General of Canada Robert Noble addressed attending policymakers, university faculty and students, and industry leaders as he emphasized the need to strengthen collaboration between business, academia, and policy practitioners. He pointed to both sides of the border for prospective economic benefits that would result and serve to lessen the impact of difficult financial times experienced across the globe.

Leading voices on border issues presented research and measurements of border transitions, barriers, and possibilities. Multi-sector representatives from the U.S. and Canada as well as the east and west coasts were heard from at the podium and in the audience. In addition to Mr. Noble and pictured presenters, discussants included Leon Hank , Chief Administrative Officer, Michigan Department of Transportation; David Davidson, Associate Director of the Border Research Institute, Western Washington University, and; Kathryn Friedman, Deputy Director of the University of Buffalo Regional Institute. All presentations are posted to the Canadian Studies Center website.

Among the key accomplishments of the open forum was the welcome of newcomers to the discussion for discovering their stake in this area of study, business, or policy interest. Given that, the next notable step for the forum was building consensus on key transitions needed to advance the U.S. Canada connection to the advantage of the two nations and their role in global relations. The priorities were organized around three major headings: cross border collaboration, border communication, and business and technology.

Cross Border Collaboration

  • Provide insight to North American collaboration.
  • Investigation improvement measures of U.S. Canada information sharing.
  • Deliver policy orientation on emerging and current issues.

Border Communication

  • Improve communication on border issues related to events.
  • Compare all international borders on numerous, measurable observations.
  • Advise uniformity concerning food transport at borders.

Business and Technology

  • Observe economic impact by measure.
  • Define risk management as it applies to U.S. and Canada border exchange.
  • Investigate best practice for transfer of goods from truck to rail.
  • Encourage technology development that raises economic competitiveness in North America.
  • Promote small to medium business border exchange.

Lead sponsor of the CN Forum is CN Railways Company, a company that has broad presence in the State of Michigan and has demonstrated unmatched commitment to cultivating interest and expertise in the areas of transportation and transborder communication and trade across the U.S. and Canada. The Government of Canada is a lead contributor to this effort and to the CN Forum. Additional sponsors included Michigan State University's Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) in the College of Social Science, and University Outreach and Engagement.

The forum discussion has continued to be timely and the information shared there remains an important resource. It is available on line just as a new international bridge construction between the U.S. and Canada is being negotiated through a possible public- private partnership, immigration laws are being revisited in every state and at the federal level, and currency values are experience some fluctuation.

Interest in these issues have drawn at least twelve papers from Michigan to be presented at the biennial Midwest Association of Canadian Studies (MWACS) Conference planned for Windsor, Ontario in October 2010. MSU's Canadian Studies Center is a sponsor of the conference.

Consul General Robert Noble in Discussion


  • State Representative Ed Clemente (D-14) can be seen in the background during a conversation between State Senator Raymond Basham (D-18) and Consul General of Canada Robert Noble during the 2010 CN Forum.


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