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In fact, Canada has little in the way of military or even industrial secrets compared to the U.S., experts say, and Hampel may actually have been targeting U.S. trade secrets or military information. Whatever the reasons for Hampel's clandestine activities, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay anticipated U.S. concern and deflected part of the blame back to the Americans. Washington's Western Hemisphere travel initiative, which will soon require passports for any Canadian crossing to the U.S., is already overloading Canada's passport bureaucracy, MacKay said. "What this does is it essentially reminds us of how diligent we have to be in every aspect of the issuance of passports," MacKay told TIME. "It's this balancing act of getting the security in line with the need Canadians have for passports, the increase in volume that we have right now; there's an enormous number of passports being issued now."
Full details of the case may never be known because of secrecy provisions surrounding national security arrest certificates. A court hearing into Hampel's deportation order was adjourned after he said he needed time to understand the allegations against him. Public Safety Minister Day said that Hampel is free to forgo an appeal of his detention order and "return to his country, to Russia."
But Mamedov had a coy reply to questions about Hampel's fate should he return to Russia. "It's a purely hypothetical question," he said. "I can ask you, if he turns out to be a drug pusher, will you take him back?"