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Feds looking to tighten eligibility for fast-track traveller programs

Want to avoid long lines at the airport? Better have a clean record.
Want to avoid long lines at the airport? Better have a clean record. AP Photo/Alan Diaz

OTTAWA – A criminal conviction could make you ineligible for membership in a trusted traveller program like Nexus under planned new rules that clearly spell out what will stop people from joining – or get them kicked out.

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The Canada Border Services Agency has launched a month-long consultation on the proposals to tighten eligibility.

Trusted traveller programs are intended to speed the flow of low-risk, known citizens across borders by steering them into express queues, giving security officers more time to focus limited resources on those who may pose a higher risk.

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Nexus, with about 1.2 million members, is jointly administered by the Canadian and U.S. border agencies.

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Currently, someone must be “of good character” to be a member.

Under the amendments, that provision would be appealed and replaced with a detailed list of eight criteria – from a drug smuggling conviction to espionage allegations – that could prevent membership.

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