What’s getting cut

Sarah Schmidt tries to figure out what the cuts will mean to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The Customs and Immigration Union says border services cuts mean it will be harder to intercept “hardened criminals such as sexual predators.” A letter from aboriginal leaders seems to justify the elimination of the National Aboriginal Health Organization, but ITK leader Mary Simon quibbles. And in addition to the humans who will be laid off, dogs are also being put out of work.

Nineteen of the 72 dogs used by the Canadian Border Services Agency across the country, which are trained to sniff out guns, cash and drugs, were given their pink slips and will be put up for adoption, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews’ office confirmed Friday. “We expect the CBSA to use the most effective tools for each job. Detector dogs are a great tool in the right circumstances, but they will no longer be used when there is a better tool available. To be clear, all drug detector dogs at land border crossings will remain in place,” Toews’ press secretary Julie Carmichael told the Star.

According to reports from across the country, CBSA dog handlers had tears in their eyes when they got the news that their four-legged partners were being shown the door. Jason McMichael, first national vice-president of the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU), told the Star that the decision has serious consequences. “Taking away tools such as the detector dog service will make smuggling easier. It will result in more guns and drugs on our street,” McMichael said, noting that Ottawa is also throwing away the money it cost to train these dogs.

To all of this week’s revelations, the NDP responded with a series of news releases, lamenting cuts to scienceVeterans Affairsborder securityfood inspection and the CBC.

What’s getting cut

  1. Getting rid of the dogs – what on earth are they thinking?   Surely there’s some management types that should go before they do.

    • Or some Ministers. The dogs are probably smarter…

  2. If the following CBC article is correct and we’re losing inspectors at the Marine Atlantic Ferry, then we could risk the spread of Newfoundland’s potato wart disease.

    The Island of Newfoundland is the only jurisdiction in North America to carry the disease (there was a small outbreak in PEI in 2001/2002) and all produce from the island portion of the province is banned from export into the rest of Canada, not to mention the rest of the world.

    With less inspectors, there’s always the risk of the fungus coming to the mainland via mud-caked vehicles, produce products as well as plant products (flowers, potted plants, etc). It’s an obscure but essential reason why these inspectors are needed on the Port-Aux-Basque and Argentia sides of the ferry run and cannot be placed solely in Nova Scotia (where from my experience nothing limits traffic exiting the ferry).

    Every single commercial produce farmer should be all over this; it’s no wonder Wayne Easter is the one who picked up on it (PEI & potatoes go hand-in-hand). The outcome of these eliminated jobs is the potential destruction of domestic potato production and export from other parts in Canada.

    This may just demonstrate again that the Conservatives skim over the facts and try to impose vindictive cuts to non-Tory sections of the country. These are essential jobs that need to be in Newfoundland – otherwise a holding area/quarantine zone needs to be constructed in North Sydney to cleanse the cars once they reach Nova Scotia (and then what do you do with the run-off water!?).

    Are you running out of people to cheese-off or something so it’s on to farmers!?

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2012/04/13/pei-easter-cfia-cuts-584.html

    • Oh come on Brian – everyone knows that jets are sexier than potatos. And Cabinet is all about what’s sexy…

      •  But… but… It’s on the US list of plant pathogens defined as “bioterrorism agents”!

        “Gerry Ritz Endorses Domestic Terrorism” is a pretty sexy headline (I give you permission to steal both it and all my commentary Mr. Wherry [unless typing here allows you to do that anyway]).

  3. “We expect the CBSA to use the most effective tools for each job.
    Detector dogs are a great tool in the right circumstances, but they will
    no longer be used when there is a better tool available.”

    Better tools include, hope, prayer, luck and faith in the basic decency of every person. This will turn out great.

    • Oh C`mon, how are we supposed to be Tough on Crime if the criminals and their tools are being turned back at the borders… let em in, let em all in, we`ve got an apparatus to support. 

      • P.S. 

        I understand that Tony Clement has generously offered to build these dogs a retirement kennel in the beautiful Muskokas for only $4 Million plus expenses. Tony knows how to handle Border funds. 

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