Tuesday, May 20, 2008

a bad idea, going badly

It seems that the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) 'snitch line' is attracting a lot of frivolous calls.

According to an article in today's Globe and Mail, the agency logs between thirty and forty calls to the hotline a day, the bulk of which are irrelevant or even downright malicious:

As one log demonstrates, many callers don't quite grasp how the immigration system works: "Caller would like to deport a couple of people from Canada and she would like the website address to fill out the proper forms. Advised caller that it is not her decision who gets deported. Caller does not care."

Another person calls the watch line from prison - where he is serving time for assault and forcible confinement of his girlfriend - to report his girlfriend is engaged in a paid marriage of convenience. "There is a small concern about his credibility," a CBSA employee notes.

Um, yeah (I really love the understatement here. No doubt most CBSA employees would agree that their time could be better spent than answering and logging these kinds of calls).

The snitch line was an ill-conceived plan and one that exploits the basest of human tendencies. Encouraging Canadians to spy on their neighbours is distasteful and unproductive (to continue with the understatement). I think our tax dollars could be spent infinitely more wisely.

"Caller states he has a problem. His wife's family is interfering with his marriage and he doesn't want them to come to Canada," a watch line employee writes.

"Advised him to speak with his wife."

I have a new post up at Mommybloggers! It's about my boys playing hide and seek.


Daisy said...

We're visiting Canada in June. I'll behave at the border, I promise!

Elizabeth McClung said...

Considering that the Canadian Border Patrol has ZERO oversight, and has repeatedly be found to openly operate with BIAS, including siezing books going to gay and lesbian book stores (like..cookbooks, and Childrens stories including "little Red Riding Hood") and AFTER being told by the supreme court to clean up their act and doing nothing and AFTER coming back nine years later to have the supreme court call them a bunch of slackers and bullys. And AFTER I was one of the MANY people who have been mass searched becuase for some reason Canada Customs besides having ZERO oversight is also in charge of "obscenity" though no actually training is given, so it is up to the individuals involved (any chance for bias....no, I thought not). Which is why Manga, for instance is often confiscated, and I myself was investaged for bringing in "kiddie porn" becuase I had a manga called, "Boy Princess" - hey, how about investigating my proclivitites to male/male gender bender romances instead. They are also somewhat of a laughing stock for thier giant siezing of an entire shipment of X-men comic books when one Canada Customs officer decided the X-men meant "X-rated!" - not a lot of READER in that dept. Anyway, you can see why a) we don't worry to much about external security issues as we are WAY too busy shooting ourselves in the foot and b) Any moronic idea brought about by the Canadian Customs agency DESERVES to have people join EN-MASS to drive them insane. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Although, better than 2.5 years ago when I was in Cardiff where there was ZERO customs officers and just a phone with a number to call if you WANTED to report that you had something you should declare (Cardiff flew to most European cities) - like, I don't know, that Kilo of Cocaine, oh, you don't WANT to report it this time.....okay!