Bill C-23, controversial pre-clearance border security bill

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Left Turn Left Turn's picture
Bill C-23, controversial pre-clearance border security bill

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

This is disturbing, particularly given the current political climate in the U.S.

[url=http://canadians.org/blog/trudeau-backs-c-23-armed-us-border-guards-cana... backs C-23, armed US border guards in Canada[/url]

Quote:
The Trudeau government is moving forward with C-23, a controversial pre-clearance border security bill.

CBC reports, "U.S. border guards would get new powers to question, search and even detain Canadian citizens on Canadian soil under a bill proposed by the Liberal government. The bill would enshrine in law a reciprocal agreement for customs and immigration pre-clearance signed by the governments of Stephen Harper and Barack Obama in March 2015."

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Well, if I understand this, it would mean that if someone is flying from Toronto to L.A., the border inspections that would previously have taken place at LAX instead will take place at YYZ. The only real difference is that you pass through U.S. customs before you get on the plane, rather than after you get off. Also, if it actually is reciprocal, that would mean that Canadian border officials would have similar authority in LAX. I don't think that is a huge threat to Canadian sovereignty, such as it is.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

So you don't have a problem with ARMED U.S. border guards on Canadian soil? With th power to detain and do goodness knows what to people, on Canadian soil? Sounds like a gross violation of our basic rights and freedoms if you ask me.

According to the report on the CBC news a few days ago, this will not be very reciprocal, as the large number of U.S. airports and train stations  that would need to be covered by Canadian border security guards is high enough that they basically won't operate in U.S. So although the agreement technically allows Canadian border security guards to be armed on U.S. soil, very few if any armed Canadian border security guards will operate in the U.S. as a result of this deal.

Several of my friends have been voiciferously opposing this insidious bill on facebook. I'm actually rather shocked that there isn't more pushback against it here on babble.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Boycott the US!

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Left Turn wrote:

So you don't have a problem with ARMED U.S. border guards on Canadian soil? With th power to detain and do goodness knows what to people, on Canadian soil? Sounds like a gross violation of our basic rights and freedoms if you ask me.

As far as I can see, this only has an effect on some Canadians who voluntarily decide to take flights to the U.S. If you are such a person, you will be inspected, and possibly detained by U.S. customs agents. Whether this happens at LAX or YYZ seems rather incidental to me. It is at most a symbolic violation of our rights and freedoms and I do not have much of a problem with it. If those armed U.S. guards were in locations other than international airport departure areas, then I would agree with you, but they aren't.

Webgear

This is very disturbing.  

cco

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Well, if I understand this, it would mean that if someone is flying from Toronto to L.A., the border inspections that would previously have taken place at LAX instead will take place at YYZ. The only real difference is that you pass through U.S. customs before you get on the plane, rather than after you get off.

This already occurs, under the long-standing preclearance treaty. Every flight I've ever taken from Montréal to the US has involved being checked by US customs and immigration agents in Dorval before I board. The difference is that while under the current law, I can leave the preclearance area unless I'm detained for a violation of Canadian law (as the signs in the airport proclaim), this bill gives those American agents the right to be armed and to prevent me from leaving the Canadian airport, and to strip-search me even if Canadian authorities don't agree it's necessary. In my eyes, that's a pretty big difference.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

cco wrote:
Michael Moriarity wrote:

Well, if I understand this, it would mean that if someone is flying from Toronto to L.A., the border inspections that would previously have taken place at LAX instead will take place at YYZ. The only real difference is that you pass through U.S. customs before you get on the plane, rather than after you get off.

This already occurs, under the long-standing preclearance treaty. Every flight I've ever taken from Montréal to the US has involved being checked by US customs and immigration agents in Dorval before I board. The difference is that while under the current law, I can leave the preclearance area unless I'm detained for a violation of Canadian law (as the signs in the airport proclaim), this bill gives those American agents the right to be armed and to prevent me from leaving the Canadian airport, and to strip-search me even if Canadian authorities don't agree it's necessary. In my eyes, that's a pretty big difference.

Fair enough, I'm not really a traveller, so it seems less immediate to me.