In mid-March, Canada Border Services Agency officers raided construction sites in east Vancouver and detained an estimated 29 workers. That raid was filmed for the reality TV series Border Security, which is produced by Force Four Entertainment and Shaw Media.
The Vancouver Sun reported at that time, "Harsha Walia, a spokeswoman for No One is Illegal, a national not-for-profit organization that advocates for migrant justice, (said) many of those detained are in the process of getting work permits, but because they are not allowed to work while they wait, many will take jobs under the table so they can support their families."
Vic Toews, Harper's minister of public safety, has defended the program and a CBSA document says the show is "a valuable opportunity to promote important messages about Canada's commitment to border security and to give profile to the agency as a professional and effective law enforcement agency." The Globe and Mail has also reported that the show "received funding through the Canadian film or video production tax credit, a federal program run through Canadian Heritage, and the B.C. production services tax credit."
Vancouver-based Council of Canadians organizer Harjap Grewal has stated, "The CBSA and the government should be held accountable for their participation in this disgusting reality TV show, which is profiting from the violation of privacy of migrant workers and the suffering of families. The last few years have seen the demonization of various groups -- environmentalists, activists and Indigenous communities, by the federal government. Now this TV show is singling out refugees and migrants for public amusement -- it's wrong."
To sign a petition calling for the cancellation of the reality show Border Security, please go to https://www.change.org/cancelbordersecurity. (This petition was also included in our March 15 campaign blog on this issue; a March 18 news report notes that it has garnered more than 11,000 signatures.)
Thank you for reading this story…
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.
rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.
So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.
And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.