Marie-Claude Landry wants a watchdog for the Canada Border Services Agency. (Photo: Darren Calabrese/CP)Since the border agency was established in 2003, 11 people have died in custody — two in federal holding centres and nine in provincial facilities, according to the agency.
Federal agencies have obligations under the Privacy Act, but the fact that a death occurs in border agency custody, and the circumstances around it, should become public, said Josh Paterson, executive director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. "They definitely need to be more transparent in relation to their operations." Monia Mazigh of the Ottawa-based International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group said the lack of available information amounted to excuses — attempts to avoid discussion of tragic deaths and the actions that caused them. The office of Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said recently the government was examining how best to provide the border agency "with appropriate review mechanisms." Neve said the silence around deaths underscores the importance of effective review and oversight, so that issues around privacy can be "more reliably and independently worked out."
"They definitely need to be more transparent in relation to their operations."
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