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.)

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Brent Patterson

Brent Patterson is a political activist, writer and the executive director of Peace Brigades International-Canada. He lives in Ottawa on the traditional, unceded and unsurrendered territories of the Algonquin...