Last Updated on January 24, 2019
A whistle-blower who was a former manager at Canada Border Services Agency has revealed details about the alleged “orchestrated mismanagement” of Canada’s immigration enforcement system.
Reg Williams, the former director of CBSA’s Toronto enforcement office, points to the precipitous drop in the number of illegal immigrants deported at the same time as agency overspending and escalating detention costs, in a 23-page whistleblowing letter to the Privy Council. The letter also claims that CBSA’s immigration enforcement is “unravelling” just as CBSA bosses are being considered for substantial bonus payments for their performance.
According to the letter, Luc Portelance, the CBSA president, has an annual salary of between $257,700 and $323,100, and stands to add $85,000 to $125,000 in performance pay under the federal public service’s executive pay system. Whereas CBSA’s vice-president of operations, Martin Bolduc, with an annual salary between $178,800 and $200,300, can get a bonus of between $46,500 and $52,000.
The removal of illegal immigrants from Canada has dropped about 26% nationally compared to last year. In Toronto it dropped about 34%, an office which had previously seen double-digit increases in removals each year since 2008.
The letter is also critical of the overspending in the Toronto office budget, saying there was a 30% increase in the cost of detaining people who are inadmissible to Canada.
When questioned about Mr William’s letter, the spokesperson for CBSA Vanessa Barrasa said, “It is not a practice of the Canada Border Services Agency to comment on allegations made by a third party.”
“What the CBSA can say is that we have deported more than 100,000 illegal immigrants since 2006.”
Mr. Williams was the director of the agency’s Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre (GTEC) from 1998 until he was removed from his position in 2012 after the attempt to remove a high-profile illegal immigrant — a man known as The Man With No Name because he has no identification — went poorly.
“While it may be easy to dismiss my concerns as those coming possibly from a disgruntled former executive, I can assure you that is not the case. My concern and dismay is based on objective facts which I urge you to verify. I see it as my responsibility to alert Canadians on the adverse direction the enforcement program has taken,” he says in his letter.
According to his letter, the removal of immigrants who came to Canada but are ineligible to remain here is one of the most important measures of CBSA’s success. CBSA had aimed at removing 17,075 people nationally in the last fiscal year but only managed to remove 13,900.
A request for CBSA to confirm these numbers was not responded to by deadline.
“For every person not removed or delayed in removal, there is a real cost to the Canadian taxpayer in the form of an increased burden on social and medical services. This is over and above potential unknown threats these individual may pose in the community,” he says.
Mr Williams also claims that CBSA has been overspending while completing fewer removals. In the Toronto region, CBSA has overspent its detention budget by $2-million and $7-million in the two most recent fiscal years. The number of jail days — total number of days all immigration detainees spend behind bars in a year — is at “the highest levels in immigration history,” he says.
Mr Williams claims that the data he has used in his analysis is based on his experience as well as recent information received from “concerned parties.”
Source: National Post