Protecting Canadians’ rights at the U.S. border

On Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 in Débat, Parlement
Share

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, I am also a lawyer, but the member does not have to take my word for it either.

I was very pleased to be at the table at committee, although, again, I would have rather had my rights restored to present amendments at report stage. However, I did present about 12 amendments on Bill C-23 at clause-by-clause in committee.

To zero in on what is wrong with the bill, it is the nitty-gritty areas, and I completely agree with my colleague’s speech. If we look at what is called “traveller’s obligations” in the bill , when a traveller is in this pre-clearance zone, which is still Canadian territory, it is interesting that if the traveller chooses to withdraw, the traveller does not just have to answer questions from the pre-clearance officer for purposes of identification, but the traveller must also provide reasons to assist the agent in determining the person’s reason for withdrawing. The person should not have to offer a reason for deciding, on Canadian soil, to leave a place where he or she is being made to feel uncomfortable for any reason.

Again, as the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association said:

We are aware of no sufficiently compelling justification to eliminate the right to withdraw in situations where there is no reasonable suspicion of an unlawful purpose on the part of the traveller.

I think we in this place agree generally that pre-clearance is a good and convenient thing for travellers, but is it worth taking the risk of reducing the charter-protected rights of Canadians? It is fine to say that the U.S. officers operating on Canadian soil will be trained on how to apply the charter, but it seems to me that U.S. agents on U.S. soil seem to be only dimly aware of their own Bill of Rights, and therefore, I do not think they are going to become experts on our charter.

Print this page

  • Barry Andruschak

    US Border guards operating on Canadian soil being “dimly aware” of their own charter may explain the fear based snap judgments that seem to lead to the all too frequent use of necessary force in their country. We certainly do not need them doing that in our country. Thanks for being vigilant on the details Elizabeth!

How you can help

Follow Me

facebook-icon Facebook Twitter YouTube Digg

eNewsletter


Learn how to support Elizabeth May with her work in Parliament ALT

Latest Articles

Ottawa Citizen: Trudeau must step up on climate change at G20 summit
July 5th, 2017

Island Tides: Movement for Oceans
June 22nd, 2017

Policy Magazine: The Slow Pace of Parliament
June 21st, 2017

Hill Times: The Liberals’ climate plan? A chocolate cake diet
June 7th, 2017

Policy Magazine: A Green Balance of Power in BC
May 15th, 2017

Island Tides: Another Liberal promise about to be broken on Canada’s navigable waters?
April 27th, 2017

Green Party Logo

Constituency Office

1-9711 Fourth St
Sidney, BC  V8L 2Y8

Phone: 250-657-2000
800-667-9188
Fax: 250-657-2004

E-mail: elizabeth.may.c1a@parl.gc.ca

Parliament Hill Office

518 Confederation Building
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A6

Phone: 613-996-1119
Fax: 613-996-0850

E-mail: elizabeth.may@parl.gc.ca

Jobs & Volunteering

Click here for the latest opportunities