In order to help Border Services Officers (BSOs) deal with the considerable influx of migrants crossing into Canada, the National President of the Customs and Immigration Union, Jean-Pierre Fortin, is calling on Ottawa to restore jobs cut under the previous Conservative government.
“We’re talking about 1,053 jobs” said Jean-Pierre Fortin. “At this time, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is merely reallocating officers from one station to another. It isn’t sustainable in the long term. With a single refugee case taking up to 8 hours to process, there simply aren’t enough officers present to perform all duties associated with protecting our border.”
Increasing the number of border officers is therefore a crucial step the present government must take if it is serious about handling the current situation in a safe and efficient manner.
Border Officers should be allowed to patrol
In addition, Border Officers need to be allowed to patrol between the 117 different land border ports across Canada. “Border Services Officers are trained and equipped to handle difficult situations at the border,” explained the National President. “Allowing BSOs to take the lead in patrolling the border while continuing to work in collaboration with RCMP officers simply makes sense.”
With warmer weather on the horizon and a continuous flow of migrants entering Canada along the border, it is imperative that the government recognize that the level of staffing is inappropriate to deal effectively with the ongoing situation.