Trudeau urged to create watchdog to review CBSA, complaints about border officers

A Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) logo is seen on a worker during a tour of the Infield Terminal at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Mississauga, December 8, 2015. REUTERS / Mark Blinch

OTTAWA – A federally commissioned report recommends that the Trudeau government create a new body to review the activities of the Canada Border Services Agency.

The report, prepared for Public Safety Canada, says the body would fill a gap by independently scrutinizing public complaints about border officer behaviour.

The new watchdog, the Canada Law Enforcement Review Commission, would also be able to initiate its own studies of trends and systemic problems.

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The proposed body would review both the CBSA and the RCMP, replacing the existing complaints commission for the Mounties, given the frequent overlap between the two enforcement agencies.

The Canadian Press used the Access to Information Act to obtain the June 2017 report by former Privy Council Office chief Mel Cappe, now a professor at the University of Toronto.

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A spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the government is working on legislation to create an appropriate mechanism to review CBSA officer conduct and handle complaints.

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