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Liberals to create watchdog for reviewing border officer complaints

  • Buzz
  •   05-20-2022  7:08 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Liberals to create watchdog for reviewing border officer complaints
Pax Global Media

The Liberal government is planning to spend millions on an independent body for reviewing complaints submitted by travellers who feel they have been mistreated by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino unveiled legislation on Thursday (May 19) to give the RCMP watchdog the added responsibility of handling complaints, which is currently managed by an internal agency and other bodies, such as the court system.

CBSA officers can stop travellers entering Canada for questioning, retrieve blood and breath samples and search, detain and arrest people without having a warrant.

As reported by the Canadian Press, the bill to create the Public Complaints and Review Commission comes after previous versions "died on the order paper."

Supported by civil liberties advocates, the move to create a dedicated review body doesn’t come cheap: Ottawa is proposing to spend $112 million over five years and more than $19 million a year ongoing to establish the new system, which would replace the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP, CP reports. 

The new legislation would require both the RCMP and border agency to respond to complaints reports within six months, effectively speeding up the process.

"Ultimately, this legislation is about strengthening our law enforcement agencies by strengthening accountability, transparency and in our trust in them, and it will lead to a safer country for everyone,'' Minister Mendicino was quoted as saying.

Furthermore, there would be race-based data collection to increase the public’s knowledge of systemic racism in law enforcement and guide responses to complaints.

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