Rights groups want independent CBSA watchdog

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Thomas Molander/ News 1130

 Published March 5, 2014

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The BC Civil Liberties Association is again stressing the need for an independent body that can review complaints and monitor the actions of the Canada Border Services Agency.

The BCCLA’s executive director, Josh Paterson, claims there may be cases where human rights violations have been committed by the CBSA but there is no way to look back at what happened in each case.

“There’s no procedure by which a person aggrieved as a result of the CBSA’s conduct can seek an independent review. This is something that we just take as a given for other police forces in Canada, and it is nowhere to be found.”

A public inquiry recommended oversight back in 2006, but no action has been taken by the government since.

Paterson says that an oversight body needs to be reviewing every aspect of the border agency and addressing any complaints.

“In a society that is bound by the rule of law, we find it deeply disturbing that officials with such wide ranging powers, wider in some cases than police forces, are not subject to any independent oversight.”

CBSA officers have powers of arrest, detention, search and seizure. At the border, they have the right to stop travellers for questioning, take breath and blood samples, and search, detain, and arrest non-citizens without a warrant, which are powers that exceed those of police.

The Canadian Council for Refugees presented three cases in particular they feel warrant independent investigation, including that of Lucia Vega Jimenez, who committed suicide in a holding facility at YVR last December.

4 thoughts on “Rights groups want independent CBSA watchdog

  1. Justice demands that there be MORE CAREFUL OVERSIGHT into the reason(s) WHY indiviiduals are denied admission to Canada, and the individuals concerned should be informed of their right to appeal the decision of Customs & Immigration Officers, in a timely manner.

  2. I am from vancouver and i wanted to say that in capitalist society workers are commodities like all of the other equipment that is needed in a factory.
    Private property is the main pillar of capitalism and while we live in a capitalist society there will be prostitution.It is the same for the factory worker. he or she becomes the property of the employer once they start work.Once capitalism comes to an end there will be an end to prostitution.

  3. Adults Prostitution must be legalized, and not go underground. Those who want to criminalize adult’s prostitutions are those who mostly involve in humans, and women trafficking. These officials want to bring this profession underground for their own profit.
    These criminal elements in government circles (mostly in police departments) want to criminalize this profession for own profit due to the fact that these criminals are usually using these women for own profit. These all women have to pay them money for protection. Like they are doing with marihuana/cannabis growers.
    We have to change this current legal situation. There is not any reason to criminalize the adult’s prostitution as well as the growing of cannabis.
    For protection all these women and their clients; adults prostitution must be legalized.
    The decriminalization of adult’s prostitution will remove criminal elements who in current time have under control this profession especially the women are not protected from these criminals.