Canada Dashboard Digest

Commissioner Investigates Proposed Search Law

EMPLOYEE PRIVACY

November 25, 2010

Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart is investigating a government plan to give Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) officers expanded powers to search airport and port employees in new customs-controlled areas, reports The Montreal Gazette. The plan aims to curtail drug trafficking by cutting down on airport employees' involvement in the trade. Currently, CBSA officers can search employees as they are leaving a customs-controlled area; under the proposal, the officers would be able to search any employee within the newly defined areas with "reasonable grounds" to suspect they are involved in illegal activity. The commissioner's spokeswoman said, "there are clearly privacy implications for workers, and we would expect these new powers to be used very judiciously."
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