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May 7, 2019

Independent commission will oversee complaints against CBSA

The Government of Canada proposes to add an independent review and complaints function overseeing the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC), which currently provides that function for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

To reflect these new responsibilities, the CRCC would be renamed the Public Complaints and Review Commission (PCRC).

Currently, complaints about conduct and the service provided by CBSA officers are handled internally. If an individual is dissatisfied with the results of an internal CBSA investigation, there is currently no mechanism for the public to request an independent review of these complaints.

The PCRC would be able to receive and investigate complaints from the public concerning the level of service provided by the CBSA as well as the conduct of CBSA officials. It would also be able to refer complaints to the CBSA for initial investigation. If an individual were not satisfied with the CBSA's handling of a complaint, they could ask the PCRC to review it.

At the conclusion of a PCRC investigation, the review body would be able to report on its findings and make recommendations as it sees fit. The President of the CBSA would be required to respond, in writing, to the PCRC's findings and recommendations.

The PCRC will not have the authority to review, uphold, amend or overturn enforcement, trade or national security decisions made by the CBSA.

The proposed changes were introduced in the House of Commons on May 7 as Bill C-98, "An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and the Canada Border Services Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts."


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