Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Puts an End to Joint Road Safety Blitzes with Border Services Agency

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Puts an End to Joint Road Safety Blitzes with Border Services Agency

Article excerpt

Ontario won't work with CBSA on road blitzes


TORONTO - Ontario will no longer allow the Canada Border Services Agency to join the province's road safety blitzes, which federal agents have used to make arrests on immigration violations, the government announced Friday.

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca sent a letter to federal Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney saying that partnering with the CBSA "does not align" with his ministry's mandate to make roads as safe as possible.

Ontario's Liberal government ordered the review of the partnership with the CBSA after a joint commercial vehicle roadside blitz in Toronto in mid-August led to the arrest of 21 undocumented workers.

"As a result, effective immediately, the ministry will no longer partner with the CBSA on commercial motor vehicle enforcement initiatives," wrote Del Duca.

"The ministry will only partner on joint enforcement initiatives with road safety partners that have a shared objective to protect and ensure road safety and commercial carrier compliance."

The arrests at the Toronto blitz of commercial vehicles were the catalyst for reviewing the province's relationship with the border agency, said Del Duca.

"It was that initial incident that caused me to ask questions and ask for the review," he said in an interview.

Blaney's office defended the practice of arresting people for immigration violations during road safety operations.

"Minister Blaney is concerned about this decision and will respond to Minister Del Duca's letter," said spokesman Jason Tamming.

"As a result of this blitz, CBSA was able to apprehend over 20 people who were violating Canadian laws."

Del Duca insisted that partnering with the CBSA wasn't in line with his ministry's objectives.

"This is not to suggest CBSA does a good job or a bad job," he said.

"It became pretty clear to me that partnering with CBSA didn't necessarily make sense with respect to being in alignment with our road user safety goals and objectives, and that's why we made the decision to end the relationship. …

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