Finally: A CBSA Watchdog

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Accountability is long overdue

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Dear Friends and Supporters,

The BCCLA has been fighting for independent oversight of the Canadian Border Service Agency for years in response to cases of harassment, abuses of process, lengthy detention of children, rights violations and even deaths in CBSA custody. For too long there has been no independent civilian body to receive complaints, review CBSA’s policies or officer conduct, or investigate allegations of misconduct.

This week, we welcomed the commitment to CBSA oversight and accountability in the new federal budget. We hope that a strongly resourced and empowered agency is established during this parliament.

You can read about the announcement here.

The CBSA has extraordinary powers, including powers of arrest, detention, and search and seizure. CBSA officers interact with extremely vulnerable populations, including refugees fleeing violence and migrants being detained without charge for months and years in harsh conditions without a fair process to obtain their release.

Until now, unlike every other police agency with these kinds of powers, there has been no independent oversight of CBSA officers’ activities. We are encouraged to finally see action that backs up the government’s previous commitments and will work hard to ensure they deliver on their promises.

This change is long overdue and would not be possible without your support.

If you can help us make sure that this promise becomes law, please make a donation to the BCCLA today.

Thank you for helping us defend civil liberties and human rights, and hold governments accountable.

Sincerely,

Josh Paterson, Executive Director
BC Civil Liberties Association

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