US Border Agents Encroaching More & More on Canadian Freedoms, NB Residents Already Feeling the Cost

By Danny C. | DCPeriodical | 12/22/19 |

When it comes to the Canada-US border, the Canadian government seems to be doing all it can to strip away the rights of their citizens and hand them over to American authorities.

We’ll begin with with the Canada-United States Preclearance Agreement, in which which the Trudeau government gave over to US border agents the power to not only refuse Canadians the ability to turn around in a pre-clearance zone and go home before crossing the line, but to arrest Canadian citizens on Canadian land — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The United States and Canada share what’s been known as the longest undefended border in the world, because of the neighborly sentiment between the nations. Now the defense has become irrelevant because Canadian lawmakers have effectively invited an invasion by U.S. border authorities.

ETN.

While the US southern border is rife with horror stories, the northern border has been getting worse for quite some time. Racial profiling, for example, has become a hot issue for Canadians who have been increasingly denied access to the US based solely on their race, according to reports.

For example, four Toronto friends of Turkish descent were driving to New York City for the weekend when they were stopped at the US border. They were then hauled in and ‘questioned for six hours about a range of issues, but mostly their thoughts on the ongoing conflict in Syria.’

They were eventually denied entry to the U.S.

The men, all of Turkish descent, claim they were treated like second-class citizens. Not only were they denied entry, but they say they were detained, interrogated and humiliated for no other reason than their backgrounds.

CBC.

After their cellphones were taken from them, the four men, who had committed no crimes, were then all fingerprinted before being forced to line up and have their pictures taken like criminals enduring official charges.

This tale is just one of many similar others that have been occurring over the years, and with the new amendments made to the Preclearance Agreement, things are only getting worse for Canadians.

The agreement now gives the right to American officers to carry sidearms, strip search Canadians, record and keep passenger records, and detain Canadians, all on Canadian preclearance soil, measures never-before-seen in Canada’s sovereign history.

Even if a Canadian official is “unwilling” to conduct a search or has deemed a detainment unnecessary, a U.S. official can override that call. In other words, Canadian law enforcement can now be countermanded within Canada by Americans.

ETN.

And what if a Canadian feels unjustly threatened by American officers? Well, as mentioned earlier, the new amendments make it legal for US agents to deny them the right to turn around and go home, even though they haven’t even yet crossed into the States.

US Border Officers Searching Canadian Residents’ Mail

Campobella Island Lighthouse

New Brunswick lays claim to a beautiful, somewhat unknown, gem known to locals as Campobello Island, which is on the southern edge of the province, ‘wedged between Deer Island and Grand Manan in the Bay of Fundy. The island has no direct link to Canada, but has a bridge connecting it to Lubec, Maine’ (National Post).

The island has a grocery store, but for most services residents drive across the border into Lubec. They show their passports just to go get gas and occasionally have to deal with a random search after a trip to the hardware store.

National Post.

Since the only bridge into town comes from the US, for decades Campobello Island residents’ mail has been sorted in St. Stephens, NB and then taken by truck across the line to Calais, Maine, where the truck then drives about 80 km to the Lubec border crossing into Campobello.

The truck is still taking the same route, but U.S. border guards, who had largely waived the postal truck through before, are now routinely searching mail shipments to Campobello. The change wasn’t announced, but residents began to notice little green stickers, indicating their packages have been searched.

NP.

Campobello residents aren’t happy with their mail being searched by anybody, let alone foreign agents, and say this problem only started very recently, but has been increasing in occurrence since.

‘Anything you have coming by mail here an American can take a look at. If you have medical records coming by mail an American can take a look at it,’ resident Steve Hatch told the National Post. ‘You have no expectation of privacy.’

Conservative MP John Williamson, who represents the riding, raised the problem in the new parliament’s first question period earlier this month.

“The mail is private, sacred, it’s not to be tampered with, but that is what’s happening here,” he said.

Canada Post is in talks with US Customs and Border Protection (CBD) to figure out a way of avoiding this foreign interference in Canadians’ mail delivery, but has cautioned Campobello residents to refrain from sending most food items, pharmaceuticals, alcohol and plants, and cannabis products through the post, limiting what they can send and receive, and stifling business for ‘Cannabis New Brunswick, the provincial marijuana agency,’ who has ‘stopped delivering to the island’ (NP).

[Justin] Tinker, 33, is a member of a committee pushing for a year-round ferry to the island. A ferry currently runs from around mid-June to October, but it doesn’t go beyond that and it was out of service for a full season two years ago after it sank.

-NP.

While residents hope either the federal or provincial government steps in to fix this foreign invasion of privacy issue, based on the government’s willingness to allow US officers to usurp the authority of their Canadian counterparts on Canadian ground, hope may be all they have.


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