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Critics call for ‘robust’ oversight of CBSA following CBC reports on staff misconduct

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Advocacy groups are again calling for “robust, independent and external oversight” of the country’s border service following reporting by CBC News on misconduct at the Canada Border Services Agency.

CBC News recently reported that the agency investigated around 1,200 allegations of staff misconduct between January 2016 and the middle of 2018. Alleged offences recorded in the records released to CBC News include sexual assault, criminal association and harassment.

“We were not surprised,” said Josh Paterson, executive director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. “My main reaction was, this just makes [it] even clearer why there needs to be independent oversight for this agency.”

The BCCLA is one of three groups behind a letter to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale asking when the government will introduce CBSA oversight legislation. The presidents of the Canadian Council for Refugees and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers also signed the letter.

The CBSA’s sweeping powers include the right to search travellers, use firearms and conduct deportations. It’s the only major federal law enforcement agency without external oversight of employee conduct.

The groups’ letter also cited a recent CBC News report that said the agency had lost a USB key containing a refugee claimant’s personal information.

“We have had our own experiences of bringing very serious complaints to the CBSA, and they go nowhere, because there is no independent accountability measure,” said Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees.

The groups call in the letter for an oversight body that can “investigate complaints” and “conduct proactive assessments of CBSA policies and practices.”

Dench said the oversight agency also should be able to hear complaints from third parties, such as non-government organizations.

“Often, we are in a position to say, ‘Look, we’ve seen a pattern of disturbing behaviour, or we have heard from somebody who’s not in a position to complain themselves,'” she said.

Scott Bardsley, a spokesman for Goodale, sent CBC News a statement Thursday that was identical in some respects to a statement the department issued last month.

“CBSA officers processed 95 million travellers in 2017, and only a very small number of these interactions led to a formal complaint,” Bardsley said in an email.

Bardsley said in a statement last month that the government was “working on separate legislation to create an appropriate mechanism to review CBSA officer conduct and conditions, and handle specific complaints.”

But the government’s window to introduce legislation is closing, with a general election due this fall.

“The CBSA … does not have independent review of officer conduct, and that is a gap that definitely needs to be addressed,” Goodale told a Senate committee in 2016.

Following the recent CBC News story, Goodale said the government is preparing legislation that would create “another unit … that looks specifically at the issues of officer conduct or incident investigation.

“We continue to work at it as rapidly as we can.”

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Biometric Vaccines Are Here Preceding Forced Digital ID

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The future of vaccines is here, just in time for the coming forced digital ID. This isn’t some sci-fi movie based on some conspiracy theorists’ idea of Revelation where every living being is required to be tagged. Biometric vaccines are real, are in use and have been deployed in the United States.

Biometric vaccines are immunizations laced with digital biometrics, created from merging the tech industry with big pharma. This new form of vaccine injects microchips into the body creating a global ID matrix to track and control every person. Not only has this satanic system already been rolled out, billions may already have been injected unaware.

ID2020 Alliance, a program aimed at chipping every person on earth, has collaborated with GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations) to inject these microchips into the body through immunization. 

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How to get more of everything you love about Ottawa

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We love Ottawa, and we want to help you make the most of living in the capital.

Ottawa Magazine is launching a new membership program, with front-of-the-line access to events, special offers at cultural institutions, and exclusive access to one-of-a-kind food and drink experiences at the city’s best restaurants. And of course, a subscription to our award-winning magazine.

Basically, everything you love about the city… just more of it.

Sign up for more information now and you’ll be one of the first to hear when memberships go on sale!

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Where to Live Now: A data-driven look at Ottawa neighbourhoods

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What does community have to do with buying a house? Do people really want friendly neighbours, or do they just want the most square footage for their buck?

In The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier and Smarter, Montreal psychologist Susan Pinker cited a 2010 study conducted at Brigham Young University in Idaho that analyzed relationship data for more than 300,000 people over nearly eight years. She discovered that people who were integrated into their communities had half the risk of dying during that time as those who led more solitary lives. In Pinker’s analysis, integration meant simple interactions such as exchanging baked goods, babysitting, borrowing tools, and spur-of-the-moment visits — exactly the kinds of exchanges we saw grow when COVID-19 forced us all to stay home.

For this year’s real estate feature in the Spring/Summer 2020 print edition, we crunched the numbers to find the neighbourhoods where we think you’re most likely to find such opportunities for engagement. Using data available through the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study (ONS), we chose six indicators that we believed would attract those looking to connect with the people around them. Omitting rural areas, we awarded points to each neighbourhood according to where it landed in the ranking. (In the event of a tie, we used a secondary indicator of the same theme to refine the ranking.) You’ll find the ten neighbourhoods that performed the best according to those six indicators listed below, along with resident profiles and notable destinations in each ’hood — though many have been forced to adapt to COVID-19, most are offering delivery and/or take-out, and we are hopeful they will resume normal operations once it is safe to do so.

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