Friday, July 11, 2014


See National Post article below. I have known Reg Williams well for many years, as I used to appear to argue cases against him when he represented CIC in hearings and adjudications, and later when he used to be part of panels at the Ontario Bar Association representing CBSA and providing information. I am not surprised at the allegations, although I think that the problem is much more complex than described, and that the lower deportation rates may have to do with the cumbersome and repetitive nature of the process that is poorly set up and inefficiently designed.

July 10, 2014

Canada's immigration enforcement system suffers from 'orchestrated mismanagement,' whistleblower claims

By Adrian Humphreys

The 23-page letter claims CBSA's immigration enforcement is 'unraveling' just as CBSA bosses are being considered for substantial bonus payments

A former Canada Border Services Agency manager is blowing the whistle on the alleged "orchestrated mismanagement" of Canada's immigration enforcement system, revealing a precipitous drop in the number of illegal immigrants deported at the same time as agency overspending and escalating detention costs.
"Simply put, more money was spent to produce less," Reg Williams, the former director of CBSA's Toronto enforcement office, says in a whistleblowing letter to the Privy Council that was obtained by the National Post.
The 23-page letter claims CBSA's immigration enforcement is "unraveling" just as CBSA bosses are being considered for substantial bonus payments for their performance.
"As a retired public servant, taxpayer and citizen, I am deeply concerned ... that the downward trend in productivity, if not addressed, will threaten community safety and security," he writes in the letter, dated June 26.
"Taxpayers deserve to know why the immigration enforcement program has produced significantly less while spending significantly more."
The CBSA president, Luc Portelance, who has an annual salary of between $257,700 and $323,100, stands to add $85,000 to $125,000 in performance pay under the federal public service's executive pay system, the letter says. CBSA's vice-president of operations, Martin Bolduc, whose annual salary is between $178,800 and $200,300, is in line for a bonus of between $46,500 to $52,000, it says.
National Post Graphics
Meanwhile, the removal of illegal immigrants from Canada has dropped about 26% nationally in the fiscal year ending March 31, compared to last year, and dropped about 34% in the Toronto region, an office previously boasting double-digit increases in removals each year since 2008, the letter says.
The letter also blasts overspending in the Toronto office budget, saying there was an almost 30% increase in the cost of detaining people who are inadmissible to Canada.
Such "orchestrated mismanagement" should not be rewarded, Mr. Williams says in the letter, addressed to Wayne Wouters, Clerk of the Privy Council. (The PCO oversees management of appointments and human resources for senior positions in the federal public service.)
"It is not a practice of the Canada Border Services Agency to comment on allegations made by a third party," said Vanessa Barrasa, spokeswoman for the CBSA, when asked about Mr. Williams' analysis.
"What the CBSA can say is that we have deported more than 100,000 illegal immigrants since 2006."
Mr. Williams was the director of the agency's Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre (GTEC), the country's largest immigration enforcement office, from 1998 until he was pushed out of the post in 2012 after an attempted removal of a high-profile illegal immigrant - a man known as The Man With No Name because he has no identification - went poorly.
Removed from his position at GTEC, Mr. Williams then asked to take early retirement. He was notified of his reassignment, effective the next day, on April 4, 2012. There was much mystery and shock after his removal.
Mr. Williams has an outstanding grievance against CBSA before the Public Service Labour Relations Board.
"While it may be easy to dismiss my concerns as those coming possibly from a disgruntled former executive, I can assure you that is not the case," he says in his letter.
"My concern and dismay is based on objective facts which I urge you to verify. I see it as my responsibility to alert Canadians on the adverse direction the enforcement program has taken."
Mr. Williams says he believes his abrupt removal without a transition period or plan undermined GTEC's performance after his departure.
He asks the Privy Council to evaluate the performance of CBSA senior managers and the effectiveness of CBSA's operations given the poor results before deciding on the performance bonus payments.
The removal of immigrants who came to Canada but are ineligible to remain here is one of the most important measures of CBSA's success, Mr. Williams says.
And yet, in the Toronto region, about 3,000 fewer deportations took place in the last fiscal year over the previous year, a drop of about 34%, he says. Nationally, there were about 5,000 fewer deportations, down about 26%. That follows year-after-year increases in deportations since the 2008-09 fiscal year, he says.
CBSA had projected removing 17,075 people nationally in the last fiscal year but only managed to remove 13,900 and is the first time in perhaps a decade CBSA's target was missed, the letter says.
Aaron Lynett / National Post
A request for CBSA to confirm these numbers was not responded to by deadline.
The reduced removals are not because of a lower caseload, Mr. Williams says in his letter.
"There are enough cases in the GTA inventory such that the organization can be fully engaged for two to three years without accepting a single new case," he says.
"The numbers don't lie and there is no escaping the reality that the safety and security of Canada has been compromised and this is a severe blow to the integrity of Canada's removals program.
"For every person not removed or delayed in removal, there is a real cost to the Canadian taxpayer in the form of an increased burden on social and medical services. This is over and above potential unknown threats these individual may pose in the community," he says.
At the same time as completing fewer removals, CBSA has been overspending, Mr. Williams claims.
CBSA in the Toronto region has overspent its detention budget by $2-million and $7-million in the two most recent fiscal years, he says. Also, the number of jail days - total number of days all immigration detainees spend behind bars in a year - is at "the highest levels in immigration history."
Spending in the Toronto region on immigration detention jumped from $25.46-million to $30.5-million this year from last. He says much of it, but nowhere near all, can be attributed to by an increase in the amount charged by the province for housing detainees in provincial jails and pay increases in security guard contracts.
The letter says the data Mr. Williams uses in his analysis is from his experience and memory and recent information received from "concerned parties." He cautions Mr. Wouters to be alert to CBSA bosses being more aggressive trying to stem information leaks than addressing these issues.
"When faced with criticism the usual reaction is to go on the offensive to launch a campaign to find the source of 'leaks' in information, all of which creates a chilling effect ... and further destroys staff morale," the letter says.
"Immediate action is required to reassure Canadians that community safety and security will not be compromised."
National Post

1 comment:

Edmond Honk said...

Canada's Immigration Enforcement System has become very problematic for many immigrants, because of that inadmissible persons have been removed from Canada Toronto Area. There are many Immigration Appeals are still pending regarding that.