Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence
Issue 8 - Evidence, December 4, 2006
OTTAWA, Monday, December 4, 2006
The Standing Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 3:12 p.m. to examine and report on the
national security policy of Canada.
Senator Colin Kenny (Chairman) in the chair.
The Chairman: The meeting of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence is called to order.
I am Senator Kenny and I chair the committee. I will introduce the members of the committee. To my immediate right
is the distinguished Senator Michael Meighen, from Ontario. He is deputy chairman of the committee, a lawyer and a
member of the bars of Quebec and Ontario. He is chancellor of the University of King's College and past chairman of
the Stratford Festival. Currently, he is the chairman of our Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs and is a member of the
Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce and the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and
To his right is Senator Wilfred Moore, from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is a lawyer with an extensive record of
community involvement and has served for 10 years on the board of governors of St. Mary's University. He also sits on
the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce and on the Standing Joint Committee of the Senate
and the House of Commons for the Scrutiny of Regulations.
Beside him is Senator Gerry St. Germain, from British Columbia. He has served in Parliament since 1983, first as a
member of the House of Commons and then as a senator. He is the Chairman of the Standing Senate Committee on
Aboriginal Peoples and sits on the Standing Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons for the
Scrutiny of Regulations.
To my left is Senator Norm Atkins, from Ontario. He came to the Senate with 27 years of experience in the field of
communications. He served as a senior adviser to former federal Conservative Leader Robert Stanfield, to former
Premier William Davis and to former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
Beside him is Senator Tommy Banks, from Alberta. He was called to the Senate following a 50-year career in the
entertainment industry. He is the chairman of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and
Natural Resources. Beside him is Senator Rod Zimmer, from Winnipeg. He has had a long and distinguished career in
business and philanthropy and has volunteered his services for countless charitable causes and organizations. He sits
on the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs and on the Standing Senate Committee on
Transport and Communications.
Colleagues, we have before us a panel from the Customs Excise Union Douanes Accise (CEUDA). Mr. Ron Moran,
National President, and Mr. Jean-Pierre Fortin, 1st National Vice-President.
Mr. Moran was acclaimed to his third term as the CEUDA's national president at the fourteenth national
convention held in Ottawa in September 2005. As CEUDA's national president, he is the chief executive officer and ex-
officio member of all CEUDA committees. He directs the day-to-day operations of CEUDA's national office in
Ottawa. He chairs the CEUDA national executive and meetings of the national board of directors as well as meetings
of CEUDA Holdings Limited.
Mr. Fortin is accountable for the following three portfolios: grievances and appeals; national office operations; and
national office staff collective bargaining. He is chair of the human resources working committee and its
subcommittees and the Border Security Committee. He is also responsible for four CEUDA district branches in the
Quebec region as well as the headquarters district branch.
Welcome, Mr. Moran and Mr. Fortin. Please proceed with your brief statements.
Ron Moran, National President, Customs Excise Union Douanes Accise (CEUDA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As
usual, it is both an honour and privilege for us to appear and to testify before your committee. With me today is
CEUDA's 1st National Vice-President, Mr. Jean-Pierre Fortin, in the capacity of chair of CEUDA's Border Security
Committee. It is noteworthy to mention that between the two of us, we have 50 years of experience as front line
Needless to say, CEUDA follows the work of this committee closely, given its history of asking questions and, I
guess more importantly, of not giving up until you obtain the answers. We know that the committee questioned the
Canadian Border Services Agency, CBSA, in June, focussing on many of the issues with which CEUDA has been
Our presentation focuses on border patrol. Although countless numbers of obstacles have been put on our path
when we tried to obtain police response times, we are pleased to report that we will provide this information in the near
future. We recently received all of the information under the Access to Information Act, but we have not yet had an
opportunity to prepare an analysis. We will do so quickly and send it on to the committee.
The committee has been provided with a copy of our presentation, so we will keep this introduction as short as
possible. In that way, we will allow for an adequate question period, which the committee prefers, as we prefer.
You will notice that we acknowledge the work of the committee in the introduction of our document. To assist us in
providing the most accurate information we can, we decided to conduct a membership survey of all land border
crossings — there are 119 of them — and we are proud to report that we received 100 per cent response from our
members, who always take the opportunity to bring forward this type of information. CBSA followed with its own
survey, which was similar though not as thorough. We are not privileged to the findings of their survey, so obviously
we will not be in a position to comment on that.
In the same vein of providing information and affordable and workable solutions, we also contacted different
industry experts and our findings are captured in the presentation, which we have called Secure Border Action Plan.
This plan touches upon seven different subjects in which we have had a common interest. The only comment we
wish to make at the outset is — and we know you will agree with this — that it is totally unacceptable that all of this
country's border crossings are not yet effectively hooked up to any form of intelligence data bank. It is unimaginable
that Canada has no form of patrolling between ports of entry; meaning that only the U.S. carries out this type of
This action plan was presented to Minister Day last week. We wish to comment — and this is not in our report —
that this committee has been a leader in seaport security. CEUDA welcomes new seaport security enhancement
funding for port workers verification, but it must be done properly and respect the rights of employees. We want to
reiterate our commitment to work with all the stakeholders in achieving that goal.
Senator St. Germain: Thank you and welcome gentleman. The government indicated that in 10 years the Canada
Border Services Agency officers should be fully armed.
Have you made any recommendations to the Canada Border Services Agency that would reduce these times at all?
Maybe you can elaborate on that a bit as well.
Jean-Pierre Fortin, 1st National Vice-President, Customs Excise Union Douanes Accise (CEUDA): Thank you,
senator for your question. Yes, in fact, we did make some recommendations directly to Minister Day last week. You
may not be aware, but Minister Day was part of a hosting night we had a month ago, and he told us that he was
actually doing a lot of lobbying in order to speed up the arming issue. Therefore, if my memory is correct, they will do
that in five to six years as it stands right now.
The time frame remains at 10 years for the people who will not have the ability or maybe will need to be
accommodated, but basically, that is what we got.
Senator St. Germain: With Minister Day, you have an open dialogue going as a union. Would you say that is a fair
assumption to expedite this process?
Mr. Fortin: Definitely.
Mr. Moran: I certainly share the concern about the 10 years. I have a more profound concern, which is the first year,
and let me explain what I mean.
We have a concern that the entire initiative hinges on this government remaining in power. We have some profound
concerns about obstacles that are being thrown into the mix as they may delay the beginning of the implementation.
Much to Mr. Day's credit, he is following it very closely and is insisting that the time frame for the beginning of
implementation, as set out by CBSA, be July or August of next summer. The first 150 officers should then be deployed,
and that is still on track. However, my main concern is keeping that on track. We are receiving a number of indications
that concern us as to whether or not that will stay on track.
Senator St. Germain: The government plans to arm officers at land borders, and work stoppages are still happening
at certain border crossings.
Have you, as a union, had any interim solutions to end these work stoppages and do you predict the arming of
officers would totally prevent this? Is there more to the whole program? You referred to unconnected ports earlier in
your presentation, so I put this out to you: Is this the be all and end all?
Mr. Moran: Certainly, the situations that led to work refusals, thus far, would have been prevented with arming. To
tell you that arming officers would prevent all future work stoppages would be making a statement that I would not be
able to back up. If we take an example, there was a work stoppage in Hull, Quebec, and somebody, heading north
toward our border, had already shot at and hit a U.S. officer of the law. Therefore, you are talking about an individual
that has no respect or nothing to lose and has already demonstrated the highest form of disrespect for law enforcement,
having opened fire. Thus, situations like that, certainly in the context of being able to defend oneself if exposed to that
level of violence, would have definitely prevented the officers being harmed.
I have no doubt that there will be standard operating procedures. No one would be expected to put their life
unnecessarily at risk should situations of a more dangerous level take place, and that is the same for police forces. If
there are just two officers and they know there are 10 or 12 people locked up in a house, they are not expected to jump
in. We have no doubt that standard operating procedures would address the highest layers of concerns.
Senator St. Germain: I was a police officer for five years. I have concerns that are different than possibly some other
people's. There are certain situations in which if the officers have not got the information, just having a gun is not the
be all and end all. A gun brings a certain presence to a situation, but I can assure you that the responsibility of using
that gun, which I have as a policeman, is really a huge decision unless there is backup information to accompany the
There has been so much emphasis on arming our border guards, which I certainly am not opposed to if it is done in
a proper fashion. However, I do not know whether everyone who is in your union is amenable to using a gun. Would
you comment on that?
There are some people that just are not adept — even as policemen. I worked for one year on the 100 block East
Hastings in Vancouver, six months undercover and six months on the street. I know policemen that we would bring
down to the 100 block, which is the toughest part of town, who had worked in the district all their lives, and they were
literally terrified to be on the street.
I am wondering what the union's view is in relation to the arming of officers — where you see this as a union. By the
way, I was president of the union of one of the police forces.
Mr. Moran: Thank you for that question. It certainly falls in line with the comment I was making earlier about being
more concerned over the beginning of the implementation than the fact that it is proposed over a long period of time.
We surveyed our members, and 87 per cent say they want to be armed. Of the remaining 13 per cent, a majority of
them acknowledge that the work has evolved to the point that a gun is needed; they just do not want to carry one
themselves. We have to be respectful of that. We cannot tell officers, who have worked effectively on the border for 15,
20 or 25 years, that they no longer have a place in the organization.
Just as important, we know for a fact that some will not pass the pre-requirement testing that will occur. We have to
be respectful of that, and that is why there must be an implementation period — which is, by the way, very similar to
the time it took on the U.S. side.
With respect to the officers who definitely see the need and want arms — you would be familiar, I suspect, having
been a police officer, with the use of force continuum — the training comes to us from the RCMP. It is the same
training in use of force, which is that an officer always has to stay one up on the person he or she is trying to arrest; to
keep one level of control up all the time. Therefore, the use of force continuum, which includes baton and OC spray, is
training that we have to pass already. It is not like we are starting at the beginning, because the base training for use of
force is already a pre-requirement to the job.
The only part that differs in the use of force continuum is the eleventh hour, the last part of the use of force, which is
the use of lethal force. The officers, who are currently working, already have to be able to demonstrate that they know
how to control a situation and only escalate the force they use in the controlled manner in which they are trained. It is
not as big a leap as some people are trying to portray it to be, to say that these officers will now be trained to carry a
Senator St. Germain: It will be the biggest decision they will ever make to draw that firearm, and I know this from
My final question, so that other senators can have an opportunity, is concerning the fact that the government has
indicated that it will not arm the Canadian Border Services Agency officers at land operations, such as airports. Do
you have any concerns about that decision? If you do have concerns, what recommendations would you make in
regard to this aspect of your duties?
Mr. Fortin: Once again, we do have the Northgate report; I believe we did provide a copy to Senator Kenny. It is
very clear in that report that all officers should be armed. We stand by those recommendations.
A good example is what happened a couple of weeks ago at Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in
Montreal. They were talking about organized crime; we strongly feel that those officers on the tarmac should be armed
in order to not be intimidated anymore. We strongly believe that all officers should be armed.
Otherwise, a two-tiered system is being created. It is like saying the police officers in a certain area should not be
armed, and, in another area, they should be armed. There should be flexibility to move the officers around; if they are
working in the airport, they should be fit to work at the land border also.
Senator St. Germain: I hear you; but the problem is that 13 per cent of people still do not want to carry firearms in
any way, shape or form, and that may increase as time goes on. How do you deal with that? As a union, how will you
deal with that component of your workforce?
Mr. Fortin: As I said at the beginning, we hope that the 10-year grace period will take care of most of those
individuals who do not want to care firearms by attrition. We feel that most of these individuals must be the ones who
are at a certain age right now and are afraid to carry a gun. They will tell you: ``No, we were not hired to perform that
We are saying that the 10-year period is the grace period in which we will be able to take care, hopefully, of this
The Chairman: Could you clarify something? You mentioned the tarmac and I understand that being a different
environment; but at the primary inspection line, when people are coming through, is a police presence far from there in
Mr. Fortin: It depends on which airport. In Montreal, there is police presence, but apparently the police response
time could take up to half an hour to an hour, even if they are in the same airport, if they are busy doing something
else. The RCMP is there and also the Montreal police.
The Chairman: I thought, with the RCMP, there was at least a drug presence there right at the primary inspection
Mr. Fortin: Not at the primary inspection, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman: But their officers tend to be fairly close to it?
Mr. Fortin: Yes.
Mr. Moran: They are in the terminal most of the time.
The Chairman: The figures, which you will provide us with shortly, will include the response time at airports as well,
is that correct?
Mr. Moran: Actually, I do not believe that is what we were asking in terms of the police response time. It was as part
of the research for the 119 land border crossings. It would be a relatively shorter and less painful exercise, I hope, if you
want that response time.
The Chairman: I feel that is important to have. I can understand better the situation on tarmacs; but we would like
to know what your experience is with response times at the primary inspection lines within airports.
Mr. Moran: I am being told that we did get that information; so, yes, we will be able to provide you with that
information as well.
Senator Banks: Just by way of background and so that you will know where I am coming from, you will recall that it
was the position of this committee, stated in its report, that we have agreed that there must be an armed presence at
land border crossings. We expressed a preference that that armed presence would be provided by the RCMP, if
possible, by recruiting several thousand new RCMP officers; and that an armed presence could be provided by them in
fewer numbers than having every customs officer armed. However, our report said if the government would not or
could not do that, we agreed, because of the present circumstances, that customs officers had to be armed.
It seems that is where we are going. In case you do not recall, I just want to make clear that I was and am opposed to
that armed presence at the border crossings not being provided by the RCMP, and to the arming of border officers.
I want to continue along the line of Senator St. Germain's questions. I will ask specifically about your labour
agreement and the application of the Canada Labour Code, CLC. The CLC does not permit members of your union to
be placed in harm's way in the sense that you described, Mr. Moran, whereby an armed and dangerous person was
heading down a road leading to the border.
At present, the labour agreement under which your members operate provides, I would hope, that in such a
circumstance those officers vacate their posts and are not required to face that situation. Is that correct?
Mr. Moran: That is what the Canada Labour Code says. Any worker under the CLC is not obligated to carry out
duties that he or she deems to be dangerous to their safety or health.
Senator Banks: In the example that you gave of two police officers arriving at a house where there were 10 armed
people, no one would reasonably expect those two police officers to storm the house.
However, when those two police officers were joined, which one assumes that they would be, by more police officers,
then they would participate in doing whatever needed to be done, as you described, to maintain the control level.
My question is quite specific: Will your union be prepared to abrogate its agreement and to remove itself from the
Canada Labour Code provisions to which you just referred with respect to that man, who has shot a state police
officer, coming down a road to the border crossing? Will your officers in that circumstance stay at their posts, armed,
to face that man?
Mr. Moran: Subtracting ourselves from the Canada Labour Code would have to be considered by the legislators. In
the context of a situation such as you described, one of the main reasons for work refusals is that there is no standard
operating procedure on what is supposed to be done. The regions tell us that we cannot phone the police because the
officers would have asked: ``Well, if there is a dangerous situation and you want us to actually stick around to see how
this turns out, you should have an armed presence here; you should have a police force with us.'' In the example that I
used, they would have had to call the Sûreté du Québec to bring in a presence and that was not done. The regions tell
us that they do not have that latitude. Headquarters tells us they do not want us to do that.
Senator Banks: They do not want you to call the police?
Mr. Moran: That is what the regions were telling us. We put that question specifically to Minister Day.
Senator Banks: What do you mean by ``the regions?''
Mr. Moran: The region is whoever manages each of the individual regions.
Senator Banks: Someone in CBSA told you not to call the police?
Mr. Moran: Yes.
Senator Banks: Notwithstanding that there is an armed man, who shot a police officer, heading toward your border,
they told you not to call the police.
Mr. Moran: Yes.
Senator Banks: That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard in my life.
Mr. Moran: They implied that it was headquarters giving them that direction.
Senator Banks: Was it the headquarters of the CBSA?
Mr. Moran: Yes. Headquarters was telling us: No, no. The regions have independent judgment to make that call. If
they deem there is enough danger, they are allowed to call in the police. Fortunately, that was clarified by Minister Day
through a letter we wrote eight or ten weeks ago, to which he responded a couple of weeks ago. Basically, he put it to
paper that, yes, definitely the regions can phone police whenever they feel there is enough danger to justify the call.
The Chairman: Could we get a copy of that correspondence?
Mr. Moran: With pleasure.
Senator Banks: It was the reason behind this committee's recommendation about the RCMP being permanently at
three shifts a day at every border crossing. That was the point in our recommendation. Part of the reason was that we
know the police response times to many of the land border crossings in Canada are not satisfactory. It takes too long
and, sometimes — as we have heard from your folks — they cannot come at all because they are busy with something
else. That there are no police officers assigned on a permanent basis to any land border crossing in Canada was part of
our rationale when we made that recommendation.
I will continue my question. What would happen in the circumstance that you have described: The shooter is coming
to that land border crossing, you call the police, and the shooter arrives before the police get there? Will there still be
armed members of your union in place to face and deal with this man? Will they have the capacity and the means to
deal with him? Or, in prudence, will the members of your organization say that they will not get into this and leave
Mr. Fortin: We want to make clear that by arming our members, we are increasing significantly the level of security
that we will have in each office.
Senator Banks: As long as they are there.
Mr. Fortin: As long as they are there. I agree with you totally, senator. As Mr. Moran pointed out, it is the same
with any police officers. We are being taught by the RCMP that withdrawing is always an option. You just gave a good
example about two officers arriving at a scene to find 15 armed guys in a house. The two officers will wait for backup.
Senator Banks: I will interrupt you, with respect. How many CBSA officers were on hand at the border crossing to
which this man was headed?
Mr. Fortin: At the Lacolle customs office there were about 20 officers.
Senator Banks: My question is: If the officers were armed and that man continued toward the border crossing,
would those 20 armed men and women feel that they were in a position to deal with that man or would they, in
prudence because they are not police officers, leave their posts and wait for the police to deal with it?
Mr. Fortin: No. Especially with the incident you are relating, I believe they would have faced it right there. That is a
good example. The example of Lacolle and the shoot-out that happened in New York, I believe they would have dealt
with it right there. Having said that, if, however, you are considering a one-person port shift being armed, then that
would be different. In certain circumstances, it would not be responsible for us to say that we should withdraw from
the Canada Labour Code, Part 2; it is not good for us.
Senator Banks: Let me ask that exact question, Mr. Fortin. Regardless of what happens, you are right — there has
to be impetus coming from somewhere else if this comes into play. What will be the position of CEUDA when the
question comes up as to whether the provisions of the CLC should apply to the members of your union or should be
removed? You would have to enter into a new agreement one way or another, because there will be more money
involved, and it will change the grid. What will be the position of CEUDA when it comes to the question of removing
that contract from the provisions of the Canada Labour Code?
Mr. Moran: There are two factors at play here, one being the collective agreement, which is the contractual
negotiable part of the working conditions of the people that we represent; and pieces of legislation, such as the Canada
Labour Code. Certainly, we would like to be able to negotiate parts of the act that govern our members, but that is left
to the members of the House of Commons and to senators to get a handle on the specifics of what you are asking.
When someone is known to be armed, is heading toward the border, has already shot at law enforcement officers,
will arrive at the border crossing in about ten minutes, then if all of the proper precautions are taken whereby civilians
are removed and the officers are able to take safe positions ready to deploy spikes should the person refuse to stop,
then that is their role. We are there to do such interceptions, so that individuals cannot barrel ahead across the border
into Canada in the hopes that they will not be intercepted once in the communities.
Senator Banks: Leaving aside the ``ifs,'' what will be the position of your organization and its members when the
question arises as to whether or not the legislation and/or the labour agreement should be exempted from those
provisions of the Canada Labour Code?
Mr. Moran: There is no way that we would want our members not to have the right, if the proper precautions are
not taken. If asked to get into a car that does not have proper brakes, for example, any worker should have the right to
say: ``No, I am not going to do that. I understand there is urgency here, but I am not getting into a vehicle without any
brakes.'' Anyone who is asked to get into a situation that he or she does not feel comfortable with should have the right
to say no, and that is the same for police officers as well.
Senator Banks: My last question has to do with gatecrashers. This committee has been concerned about that since
we heard about the number of gatecrashers and the percentage of people who are caught, which is very small. Again,
that has to do partly with the question of an armed presence at the border, I am sure, because enforcement by sight
works, as we all know.
The capacity, as I understand it, to pursue those people — as a police officer will, if called and if available — is not
something that would be taken up by CBSA officers; is that correct?
Mr. Fortin: Yes, that is what we have been told. I believe Mr. Jolicoeur was here last time, and I saw his testimony.
It was really clear that that is not what he expected his officers to do.
Senator Banks: Thus, the solution of having border officers armed will not have any effect with respect to the length
of time it takes to get police to come and say someone with a truck has just driven across the border with God knows
what in it and he is gone. The response time for that will not change, is that correct?
Mr. Fortin: We do not believe so. We are not expecting so.
Senator Banks: By this action, it would not change.
Mr. Moran: Our document, it should be said, recommends that we do have that ability. It also identifies the fact that
there are vehicles in CBSA's possession, a lot of which are caged, so they are already set up for that type of
You will see that this is one of the areas where we have spoken to individuals in the industry. With no roadway
configuration change whatsoever — this is just adding sirens, adding proper signage, adding the ability to disable
vehicles, if that is what we want to do — we are talking in the ballpark of $120 million. That is a lot of money, which
could be better invested in giving the ability to the service to actually take the individuals in pursuit.
It is just the fact that the deterrent is there, that the people who have in mind that they are going to crash a border
crossing now know that the service will come after them — it is not just a roll of the dice and depending on which part
of the country they are doing it in, they have little chance of getting caught. That is the current situation. However, if
the service has that ability, it really changes the whole aspect. Certainly, for someone who is thinking of doing it, it
makes that person think again.
Senator Banks: Notwithstanding what Mr. Jolicoeur said, your members would be in favour of being able to go in
Mr. Moran: Absolutely. That is the way we presented it in the document.
Senator Banks: That would have implications with respect to training, regarding, for example, driving and the
question of pursuit; an officer does not get in a car and just do that.
Mr. Moran: That requires no change in legislation.
Senator Banks: Right, but it would cost a lot of money.
Mr. Fortin: It would cost more money, definitely. Just to give you a quick example, on my way down here I received
a call from one of our members near Lacolle — a small place called Road 223 in Lacolle. In the past week, three nights
in a row, a car went through at 1 a.m. sharp. It happened three times and none of them got caught.
Senator Banks: Of course. Would you be talking about recommending that there be a vehicle at every land border
crossing that could be used for pursuit?
Mr. Moran: No. We are recommending that there be a border patrol, with a vehicle always in proximity; the
unpredictability is the deterrent. We are not suggesting realistically that you have two officers at every port, plus
someone else, whether that would be a third person or a vehicle at each of the 119 border crossings. However, there
should be active patrolling, because the problem is not just port running — it is the fact there is nothing in between.
Critics will, rightfully, put emphasis on the fact that it does not matter how much is invested in resources,
intelligence, computer systems and infrastructure at the points of entry if nothing is being invested for between these
points, which is the current situation. The border patrol would have a dual role in having the ability to pursue and do
the pre-emptive patrolling between the points of entry.
Senator Banks: It sounds like you want to become closer to police officers in terms of your capacity, ability and
authority. Is that reasonable for me to say?
Mr. Moran: The authority, historically, used to belong to the border service — for patrolling and doing everything
between ports of entry. There was an unfortunate series of scandals, in terms of corruption, within the service some 80
or 90 years ago, which we are still living with today.
Our experience has been that the RCMP has different priorities. They function as the police in the communities
along the border for which they are responsible: They have to do highway enforcement or get into a domestic dispute if
that is what they are called upon to do.
A patrol force dedicated strictly to preventing illegal border crossings is what we are talking about; with one sole
focus. It is not like it is without precedent. Our neighbours on the U.S. side have done this very effectively.
Senator Banks: Just to confirm: That would move your officers closer in proximity, with respect to their capacity
and their skills and their authorities, to police officers, is that not so?
Mr. Moran: As I was saying before, they are already very close to being there. It is not as much of a leap as some
people would imagine, simply because of the basic training that we have to go through and pass to become officers
Mr. Fortin: Just to be clear, like on the American side, officers at the border are not allowed to chase people, because
they do have a border patrol. With my experience on the land border, it very rarely happens that they miss one —
especially one that goes through a land border.
Senator Banks: I would not do it.
Mr. Fortin: Not with me in the car.
Senator Atkins: Using your example of the people who ran the border, do you have photo equipment at these
Mr. Fortin: No; they rely on the American photo system. Our intelligence officers were supposed to go today, as a
matter of fact, to pick up those photos if they are able to see them.
The Chairman: What about the pictures you have of licence plates?
Mr. Fortin: I believe only three out of 33 offices in Quebec have those plate readers.
The Chairman: Can you give us the figures of how many across the country have them?
Mr. Fortin: Yes, we can provide you with this information.
Senator Meighen: These are people that have plate readers, not border crossings that have plate readers, is that
Mr. Fortin: There are only three in Quebec.
Senator Meighen: People or places?
Mr. Fortin: Places. Lacolle, Philipsburg-St. Armand and Rock Island — autoroute 55 — have plate readers. Those
are the only three, I believe; maybe Armstrong would be another one because they just renovated that one.
The Chairman: Is that Stanstead?
Mr. Fortin: No; Stanstead is Rock Island.
Senator Meighen: Is this a recommendation that you have made, or is it agreed procedure that everyone wants to
follow and the excuse is cost?
Mr. Fortin: It would be cost. Some of the border crossings do not have computer lanes right now; so I could not see
them having plate readers if they do not even have a computer at the site.
Senator Meighen: Plate readers would be particularly useful at remote locations, would they not?
Mr. Fortin: It should be everywhere.
Mr. Moran: At the remote locations, some of the volumes are low enough to permit the officer to enter it. We do not
need to spend the extra money on a plate reader. Usually, the plate readers are at the higher volume places.
The Chairman: Except if they are on the border.
Mr. Moran: If they are on the border, that is right.
The Chairman: Then it would be useful to have a plate reader.
Mr. Moran: It would be good to have a photograph of the whole vehicle and not just the plate. A high resolution
photograph would be useful.
The Chairman: What if it was a toll road?
Senator Meighen: I was going to ask how much they cost, but I do not know.
Senator St. Germain: I want to know what the union's position is on this issue. Many of the police forces have swat
teams or special squads. They have access to shotguns, machine guns or whatever they require to go into situations,
and they form part of the police force.
Arming, I do not know how many thousands of your people, would not be practical once we get into this. Have you
considered a designated special squad? You would have to have a special squad officer at these remote stations as well,
somebody trained. I worked both on and off special squads, and it was sort of an honour to work on it, but we were
still policemen. Everyone was treated equally. Has any thought been given to that as opposed to arming everyone?
Mr. Moran: The assumption would be that we would have the information before the person actually arrives, and
the reality is that the potential for that type of situation can happen every 10 vehicles; it can happen every 15 vehicles; it
The CEO of The Northgate Group, who carried out our study, used this scenario to illustrate his point: If you were
to ask any police officer whether they would walk up to a vehicle, not knowing who was inside, to ask the individuals
questions without the protection of their side arm, would they do it? I believe we all know the answer.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where police officers would never consider that type of intervention; yet, the large
majority of our members do that in the middle of, literally, nowhere, where police response times are calculable in
hours should they get into a situation.
We usually cross at bigger border crossings and assume that the setup for crossing the border is like that everywhere.
In reality, the majority of points of entry are medium; most are small, and to consider the setup you are talking about
in terms of having a swat team in case something happens is, from a business point of view, not a feasible solution.
Senator St. Germain: When I say swat team, I mean people qualified to the swat level. I realize you are spread out in
all these various units. If you had a swat type of individual in a high-volume crossing as opposed to having everyone
armed, would that not suffice?
Mr. Fortin: If I may, it is the task that has changed. We used to be tax collectors and even a minister in the past
called us bank tellers. I believe the work did change significantly. Now, we are asked to perform our duties like any
police officer, and if you look closely at the Criminal Code, the description of our officers is pretty well explained there.
We are asked to pull drunks out of cars and to execute different types of mandates. It is those tasks that require that
our officers be armed at every port of entry. Five years ago many members of our committee would not have agreed to
being armed. Now, I feel the world has changed, and I believe we should be armed, honestly.
Senator Meighen: Do you draw a distinction between armed presence and every officer armed?
Mr. Fortin: I believe all officers should be armed for the reasons I just told you. However, having said that, it would
not be reasonable to suggest that tomorrow morning everyone should be armed; here is a box of guns, pick up one.
Training and a time frame will be the key issues. As Mr. Moran said, it took 10 years for the American side to be
armed. They started on a voluntary basis and after that it had to be mandatory. That is the current approach that this
government is taking. That is why the time frame is a key issue. Hopefully, it will take care of the community that does
not want to be armed and the change will be done in 10 years.
The Chairman: I am confused. We started off by saying 10 years and then you said it will be shorter and now you are
back at 10 years.
Mr. Moran: Let me clarify that. We do not have as much concern about the period of time that is being proposed as
we have for the first year. I believe that it can be done in a shorter period of time. The commitments and indications
from the government is that they will do that. However, we keep reminding stakeholders — either our own members or
anybody else who wants to listen to us — that we have to do it in phases. We want the training to be done adequately,
and we want to be respectful of individuals that will either not qualify or do not want to carry a side arm. We have to
be respectful of everything, whether it is the monetary aspect, training implications or those officers that will not
qualify. Some are in the twilight of their careers and do not want to carry a side arm or will not qualify and some of the
younger ones simply will not qualify.
The Chairman: We understand that. Have you any commitments in writing from the government? I ask the question
because, one, if you are going to be training 20 officers at a time, that means there are 20 officers off the primary
inspection line that need to be replaced.
Two, you have posts that have only one person and you have to add additional people to those.
Three, we understand that the length of the training was supposed to be up to 13 weeks and now it is dropping back
Finally, you have issues that relate to people who are doing the job with only three weeks of training. We are
concerned about that. It seems to us that you do not have enough people.
I would be curious to know how you will get through all of the training; how you will accomplish the extra people
on the posts that have only one person; and how you will still manage that and not have extraordinarily high numbers
of people with only three weeks of training on your primary inspection line.
Mr. Fortin: Canada Border Services Agency management told us that they have the ability to reach a certain pace of
training, and — if I am talking only about the arming part — that they will be able to achieve 800 officers trained per
year at the highest pace. They will be able to do it, probably, in a few months or so, hopefully.
However, you are right, and I do not have the magic formula. The training centre in Rigaud can only produce 800
officers per year. It does not have the capacity to produce more. I do not know if CBSA officials or the government are
considering another college, although it was an option. I guess it comes back to the question of money. The RCMP
had only one training centre back then in Regina, and now they have one in Chilliwack. I do not know if they can rent
more space in other areas, but that is something that CBSA officials should consider.
The Chairman: Do you have any reason to believe they are doing that?
Mr. Moran: Our understanding is that the CBSA's plan is to expand the capacity at the CBSA's Learning Centre in
Rigaud, Quebec, over time. In terms of solutions, we are putting forward for a greater capacity during the transition
period, which is the biggest challenge. At some point, the service will be in a position to recruit individuals and train
them fully, up to and including weapons training, in Rigaud. Officers will leave for their postings right from Rigaud. In
the interim, everyone needs to be trained. This document was labour intensive and took us a great deal of time to
prepare. Our position on this — the first recommendation — was to cancel the RCMP-CBSA agreement or restrict its
scope to training of CBSA trainers. I can confirm that we are no longer recommending that the agreement between the
RCMP and CBSA be cancelled. It was rightfully pointed out to us by CBSA management that cancellation of the
agreement would throw the entire initiative into a tendering process that would certainly slow down the
However, we are saying that the rest of the recommendations are intact, in spite of that. We are recommending the
use of other facilities and the use of everything at our disposal. We know that people from the industry are more than
willing, able and capable of assisting in providing the training.
You mentioned your concern about three weeks of training. I would like to know if your concern is the same as ours
that that is too long, or do you feel it is too short?
The Chairman: I was referring to the students that come on to work.
Mr. Moran: I want to understand your sense of three weeks of training.
The Chairman: We do not feel that three weeks is too long for weapons training, but it is not long enough for people
to be on the primary information line.
Mr. Moran: We share that concern.
The Chairman: That is my point. If you are to move on that, which is one of our recommendations; to move on the
single posts; and to move on training, certification and recertification annually on weapons, all of this takes time, and it
means that those officers will not be on the job at the borders.
Mr. Fortin: Talking briefly about the student issue, we have been looking at the CBSA website. It is indicated clearly
on their question and answers page that they will be phasing out students wherever there will be an armed presence. I
guess the problem will be resolved by next year, I would hope.
The Chairman: Not with the size of Rigaud.
Mr. Fortin: You are right. I do not know how they will do it, but they told us that there will be only trained officers
at any ports of entry.
The Chairman: Okay. Well, it is on the list.
Mr. Fortin: There will be casuals or seasonal workers, perhaps. I do not know how they will classify them.
Senator Zimmer: Thank you for your presentation. I hope my voice lasts. I thought I left it at the Grey Cup game
two weeks ago or at the Liberal Leadership Convention on the weekend, but I believe it was left at the Montreal-
Toronto hockey game on Saturday night.
I have a couple of supplementary questions for clarification: You were talking about port running and you talked
about pursuit cars. Pursuit cars would have to be in place full time at the border, versus patrolling an area. Is that
correct? Could you clarify pursuit and patrolling?
Mr. Moran: We are saying there should be a dedicated service to patrolling between points of entry with the ability
and mandate to pursue if a situation that warrants a pursuit presents itself. The pursuit cars would be in proximity at
all times while they patrolled between points of entry. Officers at border crossings could call upon them via a radio
system should a vehicle bolt, necessitating a pursuit. Officers would provide a description of the vehicle.
Senator Zimmer: When you talk about patrolling, what distances would that entail? Are patrol areas nearby or miles
away? How close are they patrolling in the vicinity?
Mr. Moran: Currently, we do not have a patrol.
Senator Zimmer: If there were a patrol, how close would they have to be?
Mr. Fortin: There would have to be patrol units per sector if they are to be efficient. The U.S. border patrol has all
kinds of little stations between customs offices, and that is what we are considering also. The patrols would be by
Senator Zimmer: You talked about phasing students out. Is there a specific time of day, evening or night when the
majority of port running occurs?
Mr. Fortin: It depends on where you are. At Toronto's Pearson International Airport, students are on the job during
the week, on weekends and on holidays. Apparently, they are replacing, from what we have been told, nearly 50 per
cent of our regular employees with students. As I said, the Toronto's airport is the worst example, and students would
be there year-round. That is why we kept saying, at CBSA, that we strongly believe they are working outside the
program. Students used to be in place during the summer or at certain peak periods to try to generate interest in the
community in a career in the CBSA, but now they are using them outside of the program. We feel strongly about that.
Senator Zimmer: Is there a specific time of day, evening or night that the majority of these infractions or incidents
Mr. Fortin: No.
Senator Zimmer: It depends on the location. If it is a small location, they do it in broad daylight.
Mr. Fortin: Exactly.
Senator Zimmer: You indicated that you hire about 1,200 students per year, of which 900 usually work during the
summer. Do they work the graveyard shifts?
Mr. Fortin: Yes.
Senator Zimmer: What is their supervision? Are you aware of cases of students working alone or without adequate
Mr. Fortin: We have information that indicates some students work with no supervision. When they are in the
booth, they do not work under supervision as they ask questions of travellers. We do not believe they are supervised at
such times. At secondary examination, they often work alone.
Senator Zimmer: Has a customs union made recommendations to the CBSA or its membership to reduce the
number of working students during the summer?
Mr. Fortin: The CBSA tends to move toward our recommendations. We are not against students, but we are against
the way in which CBSA uses students. The RCMP has a student program, but they are not armed and they cannot
drive the car; therefore, they are always working under the supervision of a senior officer. They are well identified in
their uniforms as cadets. The Montreal police have a similar program.
We feel that CBSA should have a program such as these, but certainly not by performing 95 per cent of the duties of
a normal customs officer, who used to be trained for 13 weeks. They do not have the ability. In just a few seconds, they
have to make a judgment call on whether that individual should be in the country, if they should be referring him or
her to secondary examination, back to the U.S. or to another country.
Senator Zimmer: The students receive about three weeks of training.
Mr. Fortin: Two to three weeks, depending on the location.
Senator Zimmer: What about full-time employees?
Mr. Fortin: Right now, eight weeks training, but they have two weeks before going to Rigaud and then eight weeks
in Rigaud, with another two or three weeks of on-the-job training.
Senator Zimmer: Of the students hired who worked there during the summer, how many come back and work there
again over the years? Do you have any information on that?
Mr. Fortin: My take would be approximately 60 per cent — depending on the years.
Senator Zimmer: I asked that because it depends on the situation of the job. Many times, if they do not like the job,
they will not come back the next year. If they feel it is a secure and good place to work, they will come back; 60 per cent
is pretty good.
Senator Meighen: I wanted to go back to inland locations — for example, Pierre Elliott Trudeau International
Airport. I am having difficulty understanding in the first instance why you would suggest that there is any necessity of
having one or all of your members armed at all times at what is essentially — forgive me, if I say so — a revenue
collection booth? When I go through, they ask what I have bought and how much I spent, et cetera, which is all
designed primarily, I would suspect, to collect revenue.
Could you tell me whether there have been instances at an inland location of somebody pulling a gun, or where one
of your members would have been better served had he or she been armed? I have difficulty with that one.
I start from the premise — and as Senator Banks explained, the whole committee started from the premise — that it
would be better if we were not armed. Who wants to have a culture where there are guns all over the place? However,
we all have come reluctantly to the conclusion that at border crossings, we feel there should be an armed presence —
inland is different.
With respect to inland, we have to also consider the tarmac. You pointed to the fact that a number of alleged
members of organized crime have been arrested at Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. Would an armed
presence by your members on the tarmac have heightened their safety or achieved earlier arrests?
I have never worked on a tarmac, but it would seem to me that the methods of intimidation would not be ones where
a gun would be in play. Rather, it would be, ``We know where your family lives; if you value the safety of your family, I
suggest you just turn your back while we remove that suitcase.'' I do not see how a gun would help, in that instance.
Perhaps I am being naive and over-generalizing, but I would like your answer to those situations.
Mr. Moran: The situations that were reported to us through the Northgate report were more situations where
members were intimidated into leaving a specific area. In an area that they, if anybody, should have access to because
they are controlling it, they were intimidated into leaving the premises. By the time it is cleared up — somebody comes
down and fixes the situation — anything could have happened during those 10, 15 or 20 minutes in terms of what it
was they were trying to prevent you from getting.
Senator Meighen: What happens if your member has a gun?
Mr. Fortin: The fact that officers, whether at airports or anywhere else, are going to be armed lends a certain
seriousness to the process.
Senator Meighen: I am on the tarmac now. These guys who were arrested — or people they are alleged to be — I
doubt they will be intimidated by one guy with a gun saying, ``Do not ask me to leave; I really do not want to leave and
if you force me to, I will shoot you.''
Mr. Moran: The whole goal of arming officers is if they are ever exposed to that level of violence, namely getting
shot at, they are in a position to be able to defend themselves. They augment their chances of making it back home to
their families that night. There is no reason to assume that there will be an augmentation all of a sudden of the number
of instances — that they will try to provoke those situations.
When airbags were introduced, I do not know of anybody trying to get into a head-on collision just to see if the bag
will offer protection. I have no reason to assume the professionalism of the officers will vary.
I feel the main reason The Northgate Group recommended that all officers, including those officers, need to be
armed is simply the same concept as all police constables. Regardless of where police officers are posted, even if they
are posted to desk duty for a month or two, they still dress in full uniform in the morning and they continue to be
responsible for their side arm and everything it encompasses.
Senator Meighen: Do you apply that argument also to the revenue collection booth, where they ask me how much I
Mr. Moran: I do not necessarily agree that it is a revenue collection booth. People that show up at that booth are
asking to enter your country. As Canadians, we enter this country by right; but for everybody else, it is a privilege —
just the same as it is a privilege for us to enter anybody else's country. There again, it is the seriousness of what is
transpiring and the fact that the officers are interchangeable. They do not stay at the booth all night; they can go to
secondary or the tarmac. Some of them are called upon to clear a CANPASS aircraft at an offsite location, which is
sometimes a very remote location in the middle of nowhere. We have been told already by the CBSA that those officers
will be armed — those that work on the CANPASS program will be armed for the obvious reasons that I just stated.
Senator Meighen: Maybe our difference of opinion comes down to blanket authorization, or specific location or
specific instance authorization to carry a weapon.
Mr. Moran: Yes, but officers move around. As a service, we want to have the ability; if we get another 9/11, we want
to be able to deploy our workforce to where there is need. If we create two different classes of officers, all of a sudden
we cannot send the ones that do not carry a side arm to areas where they do. Then we have taken that ability as well
from the service.
Senator Meighen: I do not know whether you spoke about the Integrated Border Enforcement Teams, IBET, on
which you or your officers participate. Do you see any useful expansion of their role or any obvious shortcomings?
Mr. Moran: They are a perfect complement to the work we do. They are intelligence-driven, so the IBET teams will
show up at the border if intelligence brings them, or in the context of an investigation. However, they do not do pre-
emptive patrolling in visible vehicles with letters on them that basically say, ``Here we are; we are here to dissuade you,
because you never know when you will encounter one of our patrols.'' It is really a complement to the work being done
at points of entry.
The work of IBETs is very important, I want to emphasize, because they work with the international community on
gathering intelligence. However, that should not be confused with pre-emptive patrolling or the role that takes place at
the points of entry.
Senator Meighen: I have a little problem with that border patrol concept. I feel it will be very expensive to set up,
train and organize. I am not sure, if I was king of finance and could spend money as I saw fit, whether I would not get
more value for my money by putting licence plate readers at most places. At least then, at the border, I could get a
licence plate number and communicate it to the RCMP; and it is not as vital to get on the case immediately. Once the
licence plate number is recorded, it is relatively easy to follow.
Mr. Fortin: I do not know what the cost would be for such a border patrol, but you are right; it would cost some
money. The main factor is that we have to remain unpredictable.
If we are putting cameras on certain roads, believe me, organized crime will find them very quickly. Do not get me
wrong; it will help to maintain a certain control. However, when we are talking about nearly 250 unguarded roads, and
we are closing down RCMP detachments, nine in Quebec, some in Saskatchewan; all the detachments that are close to
the border, what is the signal we are sending? The Americans keep beefing up the northern border. They have more
and more workers to patrol that border. Hopefully, we will be able to provide some numbers to this committee
eventually. We are lining up data, which we are trying to get from the U.S., because we would like to know how many
transgressors they catch.
Senator Meighen: I do not necessarily disagree with what you say, but I do feel cameras, as we saw in the United
Kingdom, where they are used a great deal, are very effective deterrents and means of apprehending people.
Mr. Moran: You are talking about high-resolution photographs of the vehicles as opposed to the plate reader. The
plate reader, under the best circumstances, the best weather and so on, is effective about 60 per cent of the time. The
rest of the time the officer has to enter the data himself.
Senator Meighen: Do you mean to say that the owners of the highway north of Toronto are losing 40 per cent?
Mr. Moran: They obviously have better technology than we do, because I get the fine every time. I know what you
are talking about.
Senator Meighen: They have not missed me once.
Senator Zimmer: Is there anywhere where those are working more effectively?
Mr. Moran: The hit is about 60 per cent across the board. The technology is not being replaced. Where it starts to
fail now, new technology is being sought, because the current technology is not being replaced.
Mr. Fortin: In the near future, we will conduct a survey of our airport people. We did conduct a survey, for which we
provided you with the data, but mostly to do with land borders. We will be conducting the same survey on airports in
the next month or so, and we will be happy to share the findings with this committee.
The Chairman: Just do not make any deals to give it away.
Mr. Moran: Prior to appearing here?
The Chairman: Yes.
Mr. Moran: I hear you.
The Chairman: If you are doing work on border patrol, one of the questions that you will need to address — and it
would be useful if you addressed it in advance — would be what sort of support you would expect to have. A border
patrol, by its very nature, needs to be able to call on additional support.
Second, what sort of communications would you have with the police of the jurisdiction or with the RCMP, and
what sort of training and equipment would you have?
You need to think of it in the context of an already established police force. If you were hearing reservations from
Senator Meighen, it was probably because he is considering another solution, namely, do you increase the size of the
CBSA or do you increase the size of the RCMP?
You are quite correct, Mr. Fortin, that the RCMP have been closing some detachments. They have been
consolidating their operations. This committee is of the view that the RCMP is short-handed. If the RCMP were not
short-handed, could they perform, if not a border patrol, then a border protection role? There is some debate as to
whether or not having vehicles just moving up and down the border is the most productive use of a workforce.
Those are the sorts of questions that you would do well to think about. I believe we all share the same view of
wanting to have a safe and secure border, but the question in the committee's mind is: Which agency is the best to
ensure the border?
I would ask you to think of it in a broader context than we have been discussing it today. The committee would even
be prepared to hold a hearing specifically on the topic. However, you should know that the test we would be holding it
up against would be to hire additional members of the RCMP to see which makes most sense to Canadian taxpayers.
Mr. Fortin: You are right; these are the types of questions we will have to ask ourselves. Even the Federation of
Canadian Municipalities was clear that its first option was to have the RCMP back in those communities, and in the
event that they were not going to reopen those offices, they were supportive of our patrolling these areas.
It would be difficult to obtain the commitment from the RCMP to have a dedicated border patrol that would only
patrol and secure the border. As Mr. Moran said at the beginning, the RCMP has another mandate. Commissioner
Zaccardelli was clear when he said that the RCMP gets more for its buck gathering intelligence information than it
does patrolling the border, but it is a grey zone right now.
Unpredictability is an important aspect. When they announce that they are closing down the detachment and there
is no one out there patrolling the border on the Canadian side, it leaves the border wide open.
The Chairman: We will not put words into the commissioner's mouth. When we have a discussion such as this, we
may have a series of hearings where we will contrast one with the other and see how it goes. I would keep in mind that
we will be comparing the alternatives. If you are to present a compelling case, you should include those alternatives in
Senator Atkins: At our last meeting, you expressed the view that the high-tech equipment in the inspection booths is
inadequate. Has that situation improved, and are there any plans for further improvement?
Mr. Moran: In our action plan, we are proposing that there be access to everything that is known about an
individual, whether through Canadian Police Information Centre, CPIC, Field Operations Support System, FOSS —
which is the immigration data bank — or our own data bank. At some point, we will have an actual readable card,
whether it is a passport or a piece of identity that people will be obliged to carry. The people who we represent are
supportive of having to present a formal piece of identification when one enters this country. We will be able to scan it
and compare it to the data banks that exist.
Many people do not see beauty in the customs system. We, who work in the system, see a lot of beauty. Regardless
of where people rank in society, they have to ask one of the officers whether or not they can enter the country, and
there is the opportunity to intercept individuals who police forces here in Canada or elsewhere in the world may be
looking for. We have to be able to capitalize on that opportunity. It costs billions of dollars to gather intelligence, and
to not put the information at the disposal of the people who can use it most is really sad. I would argue that we are the
people who would have the most usage of the intelligence in terms of volume.
Senator Atkins: Is a data bank sufficient?
Mr. Moran: If we can do a quick check at the primary inspection line through CPIC, which is the criminal police
records; FOSS, which is immigration; and Integrated Customs Enforcement System, ICES, which is our own data
bank for customs, we would be doing very well. Right now, CPIC is available to us, but only in secondary. If we have a
reason to send a person to secondary and they run his or her name, then we find out if the person has criminality.
That is what we are saying. We are living in a time when technologically we should be able to interface computer
Mr. Fortin: The Americans do have access to our system, CPIC, directly on primary. We do not.
The Chairman: On that subject, we have some concerns. At secondary, it seems logical that you should have access
to all the information; but at primary, a message that says, ``We have nothing on them'' or ``Send them to secondary''
should suffice. The person at primary should be carrying out other duties, such as looking around and asking questions
that might be of assistance.
The idea that the person at primary is looking at a number of different databases for information does not make
sense to us. At secondary, it makes a lot of sense.
Can you explain why officers at primary should have all of the databases? If the light shows red, the traveller should
be sent to secondary. The rest of the time they are using their eyes and their mind, digesting what they see in the way
the person answers the questions and so forth.
Mr. Moran: The only people they deal with in secondary are people who have been referred from primary. I agree
with you that, ideally, someone should make a decision whether or not a person moves on to secondary or not based
on everything we know about him or her.
In the absence of that, I firmly believe if there is a criminal arrest warrant against a person, it should come up on the
screen for the officer at primary, which does not happen at this point.
The Chairman: If there is a warrant outstanding on someone, why would it not be sufficient to send him or her to
Mr. Moran: I agree with you, but it implies that someone would have to sit down with the entire list of everyone in
CPIC, FOSS and ICES and make that determination ahead of time. If this person shows up, we want to see him or her
in secondary. Then we are subjecting ourselves to a lookout system in which we cannot do racial profiling and which
now goes through all kinds of filters and bureaucratic situations. It becomes a situation of whether we want to do that.
I would agree if that were available and that kind of decision was already made by someone.
The Chairman: The time is so limited at primary. Is the average time at primary twenty seconds? How much of a
check can you do? I am even nervous about someone typing in the data: You miss one letter, and you miss the person.
Mr. Fortin: Again, the officers at primary should not know everything that CPIC has, but at least if someone is,
what we call in our jargon, a ``hit,'' he or she is in the system. That person would be automatically referred to secondary
to push our investigation a little bit more. However, right now, we do not even have that. The Americans, in
comparison, know when they have a hit. They know that someone is in our data bank, so they will get the drivers
licence, ID or passport and push the investigation further. That is what we are asking for. Right now, we do not have
Mr. Moran: Unfortunately, the majority of individuals are not in any of those systems, so we are talking about a
small percentage of the travelling public that would show up. It would take more time at primary because we have to
look at the criminality or the history in other data banks and make a determination. If we are uncertain, the rule would
be to send them to secondary, to someone who has more than 20 seconds to deal with it.
The Chairman: By your logic, Mr. Moran, if the majority of people are not in any of the systems, then you are
relying entirely on the judgment and instincts of the person at primary.
Mr. Moran: Beyond that, yes.
The Chairman: They should, therefore, be spending all their time on that rather than consulting the different
Mr. Moran: I understand what you are saying. We are saying that, as it stands now, we are letting in people that we
should be intercepting, and we do it unbeknownst to us. That is something that is not acceptable.
Senator Atkins: As I understand it, they have reduced the training period for new officers from 13 to eight weeks. Is
Mr. Moran: We believe not, but we understand where it is coming from. It is coming from trying to put in as many
officers as possible. Before the announcement of doubling up and the challenges of arming, the college in Rigaud was
already working at full capacity and was still not working fast enough for the regions to train as many officers as they
need. This reduction from 13 to eight weeks comes to us after we have consolidated the three programs. Agriculture,
immigration and customs officers are being blended into one, so the officers go through the college now, and they are
supposed to come out being able to function not only in customs, but also in immigration and agriculture. Yet, the
training is reduced by five weeks.
It downloads the responsibility for the shortfall to the regions. When bodies are needed on the line, how effectively
the regions respect it needs to be monitored closely from this point. That is where the training is supposed to start and
Senator Atkins: When an officer is being trained, is he partnered with someone who has had a lot of experience?
Mr. Fortin: That is the ultimate goal, but our first recruits from that eight-week program finished maybe just a week
or so ago, so we have not had any results.
Again, if you are comparing that with other organizations, for example, police officers or any colleges, they said:
``Have a couple of weeks at your house. We will send you part of the program and test you in a couple of weeks. If you
are good enough, you can come for your eight weeks, and after that, we will send you back on the job with someone
else. We will pair you with someone, and we will decide after two or three weeks if you are qualified.''
We feel strongly that it should all be done at a college or at the academy somewhere, but, again, we understand that
they are just trying to speed up the process for the reason that everyone knows around this table.
Senator Atkins: The reduction of five weeks is significant.
Mr. Fortin: The arming program will add another three weeks. I do not know what they will be able to accomplish
in that time.
Senator Atkins: Will that include the three-week training for students in terms of arming?
Mr. Fortin: No, it will not.
Senator Atkins: Will they not get any arming training?
Mr. Fortin: No, they will not.
Senator Atkins: Are officers satisfied with the method of inspection that they are trained to do? Do they feel they are
qualified, and do they like the method in which they are trained?
Mr. Moran: I will speak to you about my own experience with the program. I would have liked more emphasis on
some parts of the program. Keep in mind I went through the program in 1991. However, there was emphasis on certain
aspects of the work, when I went through the program. I was going to work at an airport and yet I learned about some
processes that were more specific to land border crossings. Hopefully, they have focused the training on areas that are
more general to all postings. I would like to have spent more time learning how to read deception in people; there are
many specialists and good courses offered. I would like to have seen more emphasis on that aspect as opposed to skills
that I could learn easily at the work site specific to my job. Only a percentage of what they were teaching me was useful
for my job and the rest was a waste of time.
Those things are taught to a certain extent, but if you ask the officers, they would say that they learn the most on the
job. They will learn the general information in training and the rest on the job.
Senator Atkins: I have one final question that I know the chairman would like me to ask.
In a previous report, we suggested, and Mr. Fortin mentioned it, that you have moved from tax collection to
security. Would you be in favour of increasing the exemption and would that help you?
Mr. Fortin: I can answer the second one quickly. As far as the security aspect of our mandate is concerned, I do not
believe so. Would that speed the process up at the border? I do not believe so. We would still have to ask the same
questions. Your question concerns more the economic aspect of the job.
Senator Atkins: No, my question is on the security side.
The Chairman: It is contrary to testimony that we have received before, whereby we were advised that sending
people to secondary took up time and that time would be better spent questioning someone passing through.
Mr. Moran: That is what came through in our Northgate report as well. It is difficult. I have asked that very
question and I know you have posed it repeatedly.
The Chairman: This time I have to know.
Mr. Moran: I have asked the question. I have sort of added it to my list of questions that I would routinely ask now
when I am in the field. I find that most of the officers who work at the border also live in a community that is very close
to the border. There are concerns about what that would mean to the local economy. I just have to remind them that
this would be in the context of both sides of the border agreeing to the same regulations. In that context, once you
qualify it, it would have to be by mutual agreement. This is more for the smaller businesses on each side of the border
that count on tourism. We would not want to lose the ability to have people cross the border to shop. If both sides do
raise the exemption, it should increase, if anything, the opportunity to come into Canada to shop and to go to the U.S.
to shop. If only going to the U.S. to shop is being promoted, then Canadian businesses will be hurting.
The Chairman: The origin of the proposal was a U.S. senator from Maine.
Mr. Moran: I remember the proposal. It was clearly in the context of doing it equally on both sides of the border.
Once we qualify it in the minds of the members, then they back off a little bit, take off their community hat and say
that, yes, it would be helpful.
The Chairman: What is your answer? My mother wants to know.
Mr. Moran: Definitely, if we raise the exemptions, then we will have less paperwork on collecting taxes, and we will
be able to focus more on public security as opposed to generating revenue.
Mr. Fortin: We are talking about high-volume places, airports would be a good example. I am considering it as one
of 33 officers in Quebec. It would not speed up the process much in the community where I come from. I could
understand it helping in larger centres such as Pearson International in Toronto, Pierre Elliott Trudeau International
in Montreal and Vancouver International in British Columbia.
The Chairman: The answer came to us in Prescott where they said it takes 15 minutes in secondary to collect $38.12.
Senator Atkins: How much do you raise, $91 million in customs revenues? That is peanuts.
The Chairman: We will mark you down as undecided.
Senator Atkins: I am surprised by your answer.
Senator Moore: Does your union represent all CBSA border personnel?
Mr. Moran: Yes. There is a small group of professionals, such as computer programmers, who are represented by
the Professional Institute of the Public Servants of Canada, PIPSC. All of the front-line officers, intelligence officers,
investigators, support staff and human resource people are represented by us.
Senator Moore: Must every current member of your union, who is a CBSA border guard, agree to undergo firearms
training and to carry a gun?
Mr. Moran: For the new employees, it is a prerequisite to hiring and is stated thus on the posters. The bar has been
Senator Moore: Could current union members be exempt?
Mr. Moran: Some will try to do that and some will not qualify. We know that from the outset, because the RCMP
have told us that we should expect a certain percentage to not pass; and whether they want to pass becomes irrelevant.
Simply, they will not qualify. As well, some individuals will resist.
When officer powers — the ability to arrest under the Criminal Code — came into play in the summer of 2000, the
training on use of force came into play at the same time. That involved training for the use of pepper spray, handcuffs
and batons. Not everyone wanted to take that training. My hope is that those who are in the twilight of their careers
will be accommodated much in the same way as the people were accommodated during the officer power
implementation. For someone who does not want to do it, but has 20 years yet ahead of them, it will be difficult for us
to argue exemption. I am being very fair. I give that same answer to members who ask me that question.
Senator Moore: You are saying that any current member will have to take the training unless they are just about at
the end of their career.
Mr. Moran: Yes, or they will not qualify. There will be prerequisite testing and they will require good hand-eye
Senator Moore: What if I do not want to go through the testing; I do not want to think about carrying a gun; I like
what I am doing in my job; and I do not want weapons training. Will you tell me that if I do not take the test, I am no
longer employed by the CBSA? I want to know.
You have 13 per cent of members who did not agree with it, and I want to know the story.
Mr. Moran: As it stands now, there are jobs in the same group and level in, for example, trade and administration
and in airports.
Senator Moore: Thus, you will try to place them elsewhere in the system.
Mr. Moran: That is what we did when officer powers was introduced. Some of the regions are more of a challenge.
There may not be big centres and, therefore, not a lot of options. We have to be respectful of the fact that they may not
want to move necessarily. If someone has been living in a community for forever and a day, that person may not want
to uproot his or her family.
We found that, using the officer power example again, we are getting to the crunch where everyone is either in a
formal accommodation or fully trained. It meant that some people had to move around, but I believe it was done with
respect and was as painless as possible.
Mr. Fortin: It is a challenge. We do understand exactly where you are coming from with this question, but it is a
challenge. You are right with that 13 per cent of members; I did have members who called me to say they were not
hired to do that.
Senator Moore: Exactly. All of the sudden they are facing this and they are concerned; they do not want to expose
themselves to that type of danger.
Mr. Fortin: We hope, senator, that these members will be accommodated.
Senator Moore: I understand there are about 230 unguarded border crossings, is that right?
Mr. Moran: There are 230 unguarded roads plus the fields, forested areas and waterways.
Senator Moore: I am just talking about the roads. How many vehicles enter Canada on those unguarded roads? Is
there a meter in the road that monitors that and does anybody track that? If so, who?
Mr. Moran: You are not the only individual asking us that specific question, and we are in the process of gathering
some specific data.
Senator Moore: Right now it is not being done.
Mr. Moran: Tracking the figures? Every month the U.S. provides the RCMP with what they know is coming
through because of all the sensory equipment and the resources they have in the form of a border patrol. Those figures
are in existence. They are being provided to the RCMP. Unfortunately, at this point, I have to say that we do not have
access to them.
We are in the process of trying to overcome that.
Senator Moore: The RCMP is getting that information now from the American side of the border.
Mr. Moran: Correct.
Senator Moore: I wonder how much overlap we will have here. I am glad that somebody is keeping track of it, but I
wish it was us.
Have you made any recommendations to the CBSA that would solve the problem of vehicles running at border
Mr. Moran: Are you talking about port running at points of entry?
Senator Moore: Yes, like the example of the three incidents recently at one border crossing. What can we do about
that? Have you made any recommendations about those kinds of locations and what we could do? What can we install
there? How do we track and prevent it?
Mr. Moran: That is what we are doing through the presentation to this committee. In the Secure Border Action Plan
— this is the document from today — you will see that the third chapter is dedicated to infrastructure modifications to
prevent port running.
Senator Moore: You call it port running?
Mr. Moran: That is the term we use in our own language. It means the vehicle is running the port; the vehicle is not
stopping when it is supposed to.
All the recommendations are there as well as the costs. The industry is telling us that we need to ensure the road
zigzags sometimes; slow traffic with proper signage; have proper sirens and equipment to, at the extreme, disable a
Senator Moore: On page 25, it talks about the cost being $120 million.
Mr. Moran: Yes.
Senator Moore: Thus the cost is $120 million that you estimate.
Mr. Moran: That is what we drew from the industry, from people doing that right now.
Senator Moore: Those three incidents of port running mentioned earlier, you said that at that location there was a
camera, which records licence plates.
Mr. Moran: On the U.S. side. The Canadian side was going over to try to obtain that information from the U.S. side
Senator Moore: We do not have a camera at that station.
Mr. Moran: Correct.
Senator Moore: You said there were three border crossings out of the 33 in Quebec that had such equipment, which
is only 60 per cent efficient.
Mr. Moran: The plate reader is to assist in entering the plate into the system as opposed to typing in the plate
number. There is a reader that reads it and enters the plate into the system.
Senator Moore: How does that work? The plate is at the rear of the car. The guy drives up to your booth, but the
plate is back there.
Mr. Fortin: The camera is back there.
Senator Moore: He does not know it is happening. It is recording coming into the booth and should bring up the
Mr. Fortin: To be clear, the equipment on those unguarded roads, those 230, belongs to the American Border
Patrol. It does not belong to us. They are the ones gathering the information in most cases for the RCMP. However, it
would be good if the committee could have those numbers also.
Senator Moore: It would be very interesting. It would help us.
Mr. Moran: It is our understanding that you would find those figures interesting.
Senator St. Germain: All 230 roads are scrutinized by the Americans?
Mr. Fortin: I would say yes, 99 per cent of them. I can speak for my region; all those roads have cameras or sensors.
It could be one or the other. They will know if a car is there.
The Chairman: Some of them have the orange traffic control.
Senator St. Germain: The licence reader you are talking about does not have a hope of reading port runners.
Mr. Fortin: I do not believe it would have the ability to do that.
Mr. Moran: I believe the technology we were talking about is used on toll highways. My suspicion is that it takes a
high resolution picture, somebody looks at the picture and then enters the plate. It is not a computer that actually reads
your plate. We know our accuracy rate is 60 per cent, and when it was purchased by CBSA it was supposed to be the
best technology out there and cars were stopped.
The Chairman: This technology has evolved. In Calgary, cameras will pick up vehicles going down Crowchild Trail
with no problem.
Mr. Moran: A high-resolution picture can capture not only the plate, but also the whole vehicle, often including how
many passengers were in the vehicle.
Senator Banks: The capacity to read that electronically exists on toll roads, such as in certain places in London,
The Chairman: Also, in Toronto.
Senator Banks: You get the bill. It is all done electronically. Thus the capacity exists.
The Chairman: You get the bill because you have a transponder in your car that directs the bill to it. It is the ticket
that you want to get if you do not have the transponder.
Senator Banks: In London, the ticket works on the basis of one's licence plate.
Senator Moore: Does the $120-million estimate that you have in your report include a kind of sensor to be installed
at unguarded road crossings?
Mr. Moran: It includes no reconfiguration; but includes more adequate signage, because that has been identified as
being needed. It is very low tech.
Senator Moore: If it is an unguarded road, what good is a sign? We want to know how many and when?
Mr. Moran: The solution, included in the $120 million to which you refer, is for ports that have staff in an office
where people are supposed to stop.
Senator Moore: Have you made any recommendations with regard to collecting information at unguarded ports?
Mr. Moran: Do you mean to install sensors only?
Senator Moore: We obtained this sensor information from our American friends. All our major cities have sensors
embedded in roads to monitor how many cars go up and down certain streets. Why can we not have such devices
installed in roads where there is a border crossing?
Mr. Moran: Our friends on the American side use technology to assist them not to replace them. That is in the
context of assisting a border patrol in finding out where crossings occurred in the days and weeks before and how
frequently they were used. It would be helpful in that respect.
If we are talking about installing equipment without a force to act upon it, we are already getting that from the U.S.
It would be reason enough, but it would be a question of sovereignty. We would receive the same statistics from our
own computers as opposed to the American-side computers.
Senator Moore: Does Canada, to gather that information, have an agreement to contribute a certain number of
dollars, a certain percentage, or do we simply ask whether they have anything this week, so to speak? Do we simply rely
on the generosity of our American friends?
Mr. Moran: I am not aware that Canada is paying for that information, but I am not necessarily the best person to
Senator Moore: It is a pretty generous situation that we have.
Can you explain the type of information that border officers need access to when conducting primary inspections?
Mr. Moran: The type of information that we would require to carry out a primary inspection?
Senator Moore: Yes, when someone comes up to the booth, do you have in front of you the information that you
would need to know whether you have a hit? What kinds of information should you have if you do not have that?
Mr. Moran: At the larger border crossings, the licence plate reader is hooked up to a lookout system. Someone
might enter information on what or whom to look for and usually a certain model vehicle, colour and so on. When we
last checked, 162 of those referrals existed in the customs lookout system. Just by going to the FBI's and the RCMP's
website of most wanted fugitives, we counted about 30,000 individuals that we feel should be on that lookout list.
Senator Moore: They should be taken to secondary.
Mr. Moran: It is such that we have an opportunity to either intercept or to gather further information because we do
not know. As it stands, the biggest concern that we should have is that we do not know whom we are letting into our
Senator Moore: Was that in one year?
Mr. Moran: Those 30,000 fugitives were the current postings on websites that anyone can access.
The Chairman: It is the only place on the continent where someone can be stopped without reasonable and probable
cause and be questioned and searched.
Mr. Moran: We looked at the list of the most wanted terrorists and picked out the ones that had a Canadian
connection, thereby the ones that would be more likely to enter or leave Canada. I believe the list had 12 names, but let
us say there were only 10 names. We only recognized one name from the primary system.
We need to have more information at primary. In fact, we need to have all the information at primary.
Senator Moore: Are your officers getting the information they need in a timely way at border crossings?
Mr. Moran: The first chapter in the document you have before you is called, ``Connecting the Unconnected.'' The
survey we carried out during the summer asked whether offices were hooked up in an adequate way to the CBSA's
main frame data banks. The answer 82 times out of 119 was, no.
Moreover, the plate reader works only 60 per cent of the time and the data bank has only 162 of the tens of
thousands of names that we believe should be in our data bank. The majority of points of entry have no adequate
connection to the information. Staff are working with clipboards and faxes.
Mr. Fortin: In many offices, it takes approximately 45 minutes to log on to the system. Would you ask someone that
you are not totally sure about to pull over and wait for 45 minutes while you log on? I am not talking about a dial-up
line because that is even worse.
Mr. Moran: The information we received from the industry is that between $12,000 and $15,000 would fix that for
each of those offices.
The Chairman: How many are there?
Mr. Moran: There are 82 offices according to our statistics.
The Chairman: You are saying that in 82 offices it takes one hour to log on.
Mr. Moran: Some are on a dial-up system, particularly in remote areas. Often, there is noise on the line, causing the
modem speed to decrease drastically. All of the layers of security that we have to go through in order to log on are such
that we get bumped back to the beginning because too much time can lapse.
Mr. Fortin brought that to my attention and to that of senior management. While they were in the field, some of
them sat down with officers and experienced the problem first-hand.
The Chairman: There are 82.
Mr. Moran: There are 82 out of 119.
Mr. Fortin: Keep in mind, I know the president of CBSA appeared before the committee and told you that he is
making progress in connecting offices, which is true and is good news. With the problem of logging on, which takes
about 45 minutes, what is the use of having them connected? I could connect more quickly by picking up the phone and
calling a larger office that has a high-speed internet connection.
Senator Moore: Of these 119 offices, 82 require the 45-minute dial-up process.
Mr. Moran: Either they have nothing, or what they have is not effective.
Senator Moore: These are 119 what?
Mr. Fortin: Land border crossings — the total is 119, all of them together.
Senator Moore: Are they the heaviest travelled?
Mr. Moran: It is all of them.
The Chairman: You are saying the problem could be solved for $1.25 million.
Mr. Moran: The total is between $2.5 million and $5 million. If you look at costs on page 6, under 1.6, this is what
we get from the telecommunications providers. There are different options; so depending on what we want to go with,
it is between $2.5 million and $5 million.
Mr. Fortin: We are talking between $25,000 and $50,000 per site; that is how much it would cost.
Mr. Moran: It is something that was promised by the previous government in 2003 — that they were going to
resolve that and were acting upon it — and here we are close to 2007.
Senator Moore: That is a pretty small sum for what we are dealing with.
Senator Zimmer: I want to come back to port running again. You indicated that because of high speeds, the
resolution is poor and the cameras are effective only 60 per cent of the time.
In radar on highways, they can go up to 120 kilometres an hour and they pick them up. The resolution is there.
What is the difference? Why is the resolution on the cameras of the licence plate readers so poor at high speeds?
Mr. Moran: As I was saying earlier, the technology that reads the plate and is hooked up to the computer is not the
same technology as the high-resolution pictures that are taken. A high-resolution picture can be brought up on a
screen, zoomed in on and the plate entered, error is reduced almost completely.
If we rely on the computer to do that reading, our standstill hit rate is about 60 per cent — when the car is not
moving at all. There are all kinds of reasons for that happening; it can be dirt on the plate.
Most of the time, the officer will look at the picture of the plate, enter it himself or herself and it works fine.
Senator Zimmer: That follow-up manipulation is needed to be more accurate.
The second part is you indicated that 300 vehicles ran the borders the first six months of this year and 70 of those
were apprehended. For the remaining 230 vehicles, do you know the plate numbers for any of them?
Mr. Moran: The numbers you are referring to are the CBSA's figures. We have reason to believe that they are higher
than that, but let us take for granted that those are the right figures. I believe your question is: What happened to the
others? Your guess or the guess of anybody in this room is as good as anybody's concerning who or what was in those
vehicles. That is where the concern lies: We have no clue as to what or who was in there.
Senator Zimmer: Let us say you do have the plate number, that you did not apprehend them right away, but you
have the plate numbers. Is there any further follow-up beyond that or does it end there?
Mr. Moran: If we can get a good picture and are able to distinguish the plate, if it is not a stolen vehicle or a rental
vehicle under a false name, we are able to follow up. If it is the actual person's vehicle, they may not know somebody
did that with their vehicle, but we have the lead at least.
Mr. Fortin: Again, we point out that technology would help us, but it would not resolve all the problems. For
example, there are more and more people crossing the borders with packsacks full of drugs. We see that happening
increasingly on the southern border — the northern border for the Americans.
When we say technology is there to assist us, on the U.S. side when they see something on their monitors or they see
activity, they will deploy a border patrol officer to the scene. We are saying it would be an improvement to at least have
a camera showing there is activity there, but we also need somebody to go onsite.
Another good example is aliens. Many people are not crossing with aliens, but they will drop them on the unguarded
roads and leave them on their own. They cross the border by walking across. That is another problem.
Senator Banks: Regarding those costs on page 6, do you have the impression that if you did the copper connection,
for example, that you would have just as good access and as fast access as if you did the wireless connection?
Mr. Fortin: That is what the industry people tell us.
Senator Banks: It would not be subject to the vagaries of wireless components, which sometimes just go down. A
hard-wired copper wire is less likely to have a transmission problem.
Mr. Moran: I believe the people in the industry would argue that with you. Wireless is the way that everything is
going, although I am of the same opinion as you.
Senator Banks: Copper wire cannot go down.
Mr. Moran: Apparently it can.
Mr. Fortin: For example, those computers in police cars, they have to rely on those computers. The people who did
the presentation to us at our national office are the suppliers of the Toronto police, so that is why I can rely on what
they were saying.
Mr. Moran: The encryption and the security levels they guarantee are the same, whether through the air or through
Senator Banks: Is the $2.5 million to $5 million a one-time cost?
Mr. Moran: Yes.
Senator Banks: Is there a higher ongoing operating cost after that?
Mr. Moran: We have to maintain the hookup — we have to pay the Internet fees and maintain it after that, but I
believe it would be minimal.
The Chairman: I have a quick question about phone-ins at airports and boat landings. There are a number of places
along the land border and inside where you do not have customs officers; you do have phones, and people phone in
and make a declaration. You can either accept their declaration or you can tell them to hang around for a little while
until you arrive to take a look at them.
How many phone-ins are there? Do you have that number handy?
Mr. Moran: We can get that for you. Are you talking about the CANPASS Air or the CANPASS for small vessels?
We can get that for you.
The Chairman: How often do you make a verification and actually say to somebody, ``Wait there because we would
like to come to see you?''
Mr. Moran: We can get that for you easily. One of the frustrating aspects our members go through is that there are
only two call centres, one in Hamilton for the eastern part of the country and one in Victoria for the western part. Very
often they will release planes, small aircraft will land where we do have people who are between flights, so they could
go out and do the flight if they knew it was coming; but the communication is not there.
Sometimes, you are right, there are situations where the geography is a challenge and the number of people available
is a challenge. However, there are also situations where there are people there that could do some of the flights; and
they do not because it is controlled in these two central call centres.
The Chairman: What can you tell us about random checks of those places? We have been advised in testimony that
these places are visited on a random basis.
Mr. Moran: The system generates random hits. How many are acted upon would be a good question to ask.
Mr. Fortin: If you ever get those figures, senator, I would be more than happy to have a look at them.
Mr. Moran: The senator is always giving us homework.
Mr. Fortin: But random — we will work on that.
Senator Zimmer: We have touched on land and air, but not much on the waterways. A general question is how
susceptible are the waterways versus land or air, and how policed are they?
I would imagine they are the least protected of all three. Would that be correct?
Mr. Fortin: I would say so. Again, if I am looking in my area, we have Lake Champlain and Lake Memphrémagog;
they are not patrolled at all, as far as we are concerned. Again, when we look at the U.S. border patrol, they have
planes, helicopters, Ski-Doos and four-wheelers — so they are out there and we are not.
Senator Zimmer: That touches on a further element that you have just hit on. During the winter, there is another
element of traffic — Ski-Doos. They can go through the bushes and it is almost impossible to find them.
Mr. Fortin: That is right. It comes back to our argument that having cameras on those unguarded roads would be a
good option, a good start, but it is not the whole solution. As soon as organized crime figures it out, they would decide
to go somewhere else. We have to remain unpredictable.
The Chairman: With the current ministry, you might talk to them about Sea-Doos.
On that note, I would like to thank you both very much on behalf of the committee. We will read this with great
interest. I believe we will be writing to you.
We have not had an opportunity to digest the document you have given us to the extent that we would like. If you
could provide the information you get to our clerk, Ms. Reynolds, we would be most grateful. Thank you very much
for being of assistance to the committee. We look forward to hearing from you again in the not-too-distant future.