Joint statement on anti-racism: We can do better together
We — the Minister of Public Safety, President and Executive Vice-President of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and the National President of the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) — are standing together to reiterate our commitment to eliminating systemic racism.
We recognize that all workplaces should be respectful, free of harassment and discrimination. The events of 2020 have reinforced our commitment and sharpened our focus on the reality of systemic racism. We need to do more to address and strive to eliminate racism in the CBSA workplace and workforce.
Acknowledging the problem is only the first step. We are now turning our attention to working together to deliver positive and lasting changes.
Today we are coming together to take action. The CBSA senior management has recently established an Agency‑wide Task Force on anti‑racism. The Task Force is developing an anti‑racism strategy that takes a whole‑of‑Agency approach to tackle systemic racism within the CBSA by listening, learning and taking action.
Additionally, an initiative proposed by the CIU is making headway. Last spring, the Minister of Public Safety, the President of the CBSA and the CIU agreed that anti‑racism training should be developed for all CBSA employees. The CIU National Executive identified a group of dedicated members who will work with the CBSA HR team and Anti-Racism Task Force to develop that training as well as de‑escalation training for frontline officers. These efforts are aimed at fostering positive and respectful interaction amongst CBSA employees and with the diverse clientele they serve at facilities and ports of entry across the country.
Canada has a long history of colonialism that continues to have a big impact on Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities. But today we step forward together to demonstrate our commitment to real change.
CBSA employees stand guard at the longest land border in the world. Our efforts to eliminate systemic barriers will benefit Agency employees and better support the public and travellers we serve every day.
As we move forward, we encourage all of you to become familiar with the initiatives and resources that will be introduced in the coming months, and to join us in standing in solidarity with all peoples, particularly those who have experienced racism and discrimination.
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Executive Vice-President, CBSA
National President, CIU
CIU also wishes to thank the members of the union’s working groups on anti-racism and de-escalation training for their continued work and efforts.
CIU anti-racism working group
Co-Chairs: Joey Dunphy and Murray Star
- Jenny Mathelier
- Neha Sarao
- Lisa Morgan
- Tacia Kilty
- Sukhpreet Singh Heir
CIU de-escalation training working group
Chair: Rick Savage
- Ben Hurdle
- Paul Finn
- Rildo Gutierrez
- Mike Fraser