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B.C. human rights group wants third party oversight of Canadian Border Services Agency

REUTERS / Mark Blinch

The BC Civil Liberties Association has released a report asking for a third party to handle complaints against the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).

The human rights group is complaining that unlike police, the CBSA has no independent oversight of its actions.

“There’s no independent body that people can take a complaint to if they’ve been treated unfairly, there’s nobody that’s charged with reviewing the policies and practices of CBSA to ensure that they comply with the human rights of the vulnerable populations that CBSA interacts with every day,” said Laura Track, a lawyer with the group.

READ MORE: Independent monitoring in store for Canada Border Services Agency

She says the group wants to see a strategy implemented, including a complaints and an oversight department.

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“We can’t rely simply on vulnerable refugee claimants, for example, to make complaints about treatment by CBSA when they are relying on CBSA officers for their ability to stay in Canada.”

The CBSA says the government is committed to ensuring that “our border services are world class and worthy of the trust of Canadians.” It adds that in order to accomplish those two things, a review agency of some nature is required and the Public Safety Minister intends to establish that following public consultation.