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Liberals set to revive plan for Canada Border Services Agency watchdog

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The federal Liberals are poised to rekindle a plan to allow travellers, immigration detainees and others who feel they have been mistreated by Canada’s border agency to complain to an independent body.

The government is expected to introduce legislation Thursday to give the RCMP watchdog the additional responsibility of handling public complaints about the Canada Border Services Agency.

The bill to create the Public Complaints and Review Commission comes after previous versions died on the order paper.

Border officers can stop travellers for questioning, take blood and breath samples and search, detain and arrest people without warrants.

An internal agency unit handles complaints from the public, while other bodies, including the courts, the federal privacy commissioner and the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency, examine various concerns.

But the border agency is not overseen by a dedicated, independent complaints body, prompting civil libertarians, refugee lawyers and parliamentary committees to call for stronger monitoring.


The federal Liberals are poised to rekindle a plan to allow travellers, immigration detainees and others who feel they have been mistreated by Canada’s border agency to complain to an independent body.

The government is expected to introduce legislation Thursday to give the RCMP watchdog the additional responsibility of handling public complaints about the Canada Border Services Agency.

The bill to create the Public Complaints and Review Commission comes after previous versions died on the order paper.

Border officers can stop travellers for questioning, take blood and breath samples and search, detain and arrest people without warrants.

An internal agency unit handles complaints from the public, while other bodies, including the courts, the federal privacy commissioner and the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency, examine various concerns.

But the border agency is not overseen by a dedicated, independent complaints body, prompting civil libertarians, refugee lawyers and parliamentary committees to call for stronger monitoring.

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