Home / Vancouver entertainment company refutes claim it violated privacy laws when shooting border reality show

Vancouver entertainment company refutes claim it violated privacy laws when shooting border reality show

By Tiffany Crawford/VancouverSun.com
Published May 29, 2013


Photo Credit: Jason Payne, PNG. Josh Paterson, BC Civil Liberties executive director, was joined by Harsha Wallia of the No One is Illegal human rights group at a press conference in Vancouver Tuesday, May 28, 2013 to raise concerns about the continued filming of people crossing Canadian borders by crews compiling footage for a reality TV show based on the Canada Border Services Agency.

VANCOUVER – The president of the Vancouver-based entertainment company that makes a reality show for the Canadian Border Services Agency is denying that anyone’s rights were violated during filming of the show.

Rob Bromley, president of Force Four Entertainment, made the statement following a call from the BC Civil Liberties Association on Tuesday seeking people filmed without their permission for the show Border Services: Canada’s Front Line.

“Force Four Entertainment refutes the claim that any person’s rights were violated,” said Bromley, in the statement.

“With the exception of one convicted sex offender and two convicted drug traffickers, everyone featured in an identifiable manner in Border Security has given their verbal permission at the beginning of filming, and their written permission at the end of filming.”

He said privacy of those filmed is the company’s top priority and stated that everyone in the background of every episode is blurred and unidentifiable.

The BCCLA has never contacted Force Four Entertainment to directly discuss their concerns, he added.

On Tuesday, Josh Paterson, executive director of the association, called a news conference to say the BCLA was looking to get in contact with anyone who was filmed at the border or at airports without their consent.

He said filming appears to violate rules in the Privacy Act that prohibit government agencies from collecting or using information in ways that fall outside their legal mandates, and is therefore illegal.

Travellers who think they have been filmed can fill out two online forms at bccla.org/ notforTV.

One form will allow individuals who have crossed the border or who are planning a trip outside Canada to refuse permission to be filmed by CBSA or its private film crew partners – Force Four Entertainment, Shaw Media, National Geographic and BST Media.

The second form is for travellers who may have already been filmed by CBSA to describe their experiences.

The association filed a separate complaint in March with the federal privacy commissioner on behalf of one of the migrant workers arrested in a raid in Vancouver that sparked national debate because it was filmed for the reality show.

Eight men were arrested by CBSA agents on March 13 while working at a construction site on Victoria Drive. The raid was filmed for Canada’s Front Line and caused outrage among critics, who say the detainees were exploited for entertainment.

Paterson said Tuesday that the association had not yet received a response on that complaint. The complaint argued the CBSA broke federal laws and violated the worker’s rights by including TV cameras in the raid.