MONTRÉAL, Oct. 8, 2015 /CNW/ - This morning, over 200 members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada-Quebec and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) are demonstrating at the Montréal-Trudeau Airport to demand greater border security in Canada.
More than 1,000 positions, including front-line border workers, sniffer-dog teams and intelligence officials, have been cut at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). These budget cuts, along with the introduction of automated border clearance (ABC) kiosks, are having a detrimental effect on the security of Canadians.
"You would have to be out of touch with reality to think that Canadians will be safe without a sufficient number of well-trained border services workers at all points of entry," stated Jean‑Pierre Fortin, President of the Customs and Immigration Union representing 10,400 members.
In 2013, CBSA installed ABC kiosks at three airports: Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver. While these kiosks can scan passports and customs declaration cards, they cannot detect false declarations.
Since the introduction of this technology, seizures at Montréal-Trudeau Airport have dropped by 25%. The Canadian government as extended this program to US travellers and plans to include other foreign nationals.
"We can't replace people with machines if it compromises the safety of Canadians," added Magali Picard, Regional Executive Vice-President of PSAC-Quebec.
PSAC-Quebec and the CIU will continue to take action and use every legal means possible to defend the right to free collective bargaining.
PSAC represents more than 170,000 members across Canada. PSAC-Québec, a QFL affiliate, represents over 40,000 members.
The CIU is a Component of PSAC and represents workers at the Canada Border Services Agency.
SOURCE Public Service Alliance of Canada
For further information: Patrick Leblanc, PSAC-Québec, 514-706-5997, [email protected]