Customs and Immigration Union (CIU)

Customs and Immigration Union (CIU)

August 16, 2005 16:39 ET

Media Advisory: Customs Excise Union Seeks Truth, What is the Government Hiding from Canadians?

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 16, 2005) - The Customs Excise Union Douanes Accise (CEUDA) has commissioned the Northgate Group to carry out an objective, national analysis to report on the nature of risk faced by Customs Officers in the performance of their duties, the public interest involved in those duties and whether sidearms are required as a result.

It is now beyond dispute that Customs Officers deal with potentially dangerous people daily. The risk in doing so does not end there. As a result of government direction, officers are required to withdraw from hazardous situations, including dealing with people who are believed to be armed and dangerous, and permit their entry into Canada. CEUDA believes this policy to be unsafe for its members and unsafe for Canadians.

These facts have been confirmed in the recent (June 2005) Senate Report on Border Security which also revealed that a previous report related to an armed presence at the border had been altered by the government to delete a recommendation for such an armed presence. As a result of these facts, CEUDA resolved to get the truth and asked the Canada Border Services Agency to allow Northgate to visit Customs work sites and speak with Customs staff. The request was denied.

Northgate will nevertheless move forward with the study and will begin site visits tomorrow at Cornwall, Ontario, Wednesday, August 17, 2005. More site visits at border crossings across Canada are planned in the coming weeks.

CEUDA represents 10,500 members, more than 5,000 of whom are this country's front-lines Customs Officers as well as the Investigation, Intelligence, and Trade Customs Officers. CEUDA National President Ron Moran says "We believe that our members and the people of Canada deserve the truth. Ignorance at the border isn't bliss; it's dangerous."

CEUDA remains hopeful there some Customs managers who recognize that officer safety and protecting the public are more important than continuing a bureaucratic cover up. "One way or another CEUDA will ensure that front line officers have their voices heard on this vital issue," Moran concluded.

Northgate Representatives
Conservative Member of Parliament Guy Lauzon
CEUDA's National President
8:45 a.m. - Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Customs Border Crossing, Cornwall, Ontario

Contact Information

    Ron Moran
    National President
    (613) 677-1090
    Erik Lupien
    Communications and Political Coordination
    (613) 723-8008