|The Associated Press
TORONTO- Canada will arm its border guards starting in 2007, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday.
Canada has unarmed guards along its 4,000-mile (6,435-kilometer) border with the U.S., but Canada will now arm them like their U.S. counterparts.
The government plans to arm and train its 4,500 border agents over the next 10 years. Harper said some will be armed starting in September of 2007 and about 150 will receive guns by the end of March 2008.
The Canadian side of the U.S.-Canada border is monitored by the Canada Border Services Agency. They have been demanding to be armed to help them deal with cross-border criminal activity. Officers abandoned their posts in British Columbia earlier this year when they were told that two murder suspects from California were headed their way. The men were apprehended by armed U.S. law enforcement officers.