Private companies are being invited to put in their bids to operate a supervision program for migrants stopped at the Canadian border, as an alternative to detention centres and provincial jails.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) wants a contractor to run a scheme that would oversee regular reporting, run substance abuse programs, offer help finding jobs and education opportunities and assistance with finding accommodation.
A tender has been listed on the federal government website asking for interested organisations to come forward, with three expressions of interest so far.
CBSA’s Detention Track Record in Numbers
- 15 deaths since 2000
- 3 deaths this year
- 6,768 detained between April 2014 and March 2015
- 2,366 of those release, 3,325 deported
- Average detention: 24.5 days
- Legal limit on detention: None
The tender notice reads: “A Community Supervision Program would allow for the release of an individual from detention through the provision of supervision and community services that effectively mitigate risk of release, as identified in a supervision plan developed by the CBSA.”
The CBSA has come under fire for its power to hold immigration detainees indefinitely while their cases are being investigated.
Further controversy has been caused by the agency’s used of provincial jails to hold detainees viewed as a security or flight risk, or with medical needs.
Companies Expressing Interest in CBSA Tender
There have been 15 migrant deaths in custody since 2000, three of them this, adding further fuel to the anti-detention argument.
Some 50 detainees are also currently on hunger strike in Toronto, demanding a meeting with Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, the MP with responsibility for the detained migrants.
Goodale said recently that he wanted to see purpose-built facilities for immigration detention, plus reliable alternatives developed.
There has been a lukewarm response to the proposal of monitoring migrants in the community.
One of the reasons for this is that the CBSA’s policies often appear to go unchecked, with decisions on specific migrants appearing to be arbitrary, in terms of whether and where they are detained.
The End Immigration Detention Network is calling for a 90-day limit on detention. Both the UK and the USA have statutory limits, but Canada does not, which can mean migrants are detained for years without trial.
Currently there are around 400 migrants held in Canada, roughly half in immigration centres in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. The other half are in Ontario jails.
Each detainee costs taxpayers $239 per day. Alternatives would come in at a significantly lower cost.
Three companies have expressed an interest in the opportunity so far.
They include SafeTracks GPS Canada, a company specializing in the use of tracking devices, plus two more traditional security firms in Nova Scotia-based Commissionaires, and Skanna Security and Investigations from Toronto.
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.
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