Saskatchewan, Canada – As 2017 begins, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) shares the top stories from its border crossings in Saskatchewan last year. Each of these stories highlights the important role that front-line CBSA officers play in protecting Saskatchewan residents:
The top story of 2016 was seizing 21 undeclared firearms, including 14 handguns, at Saskatchewan land border crossings. An interception of weapons and firearms, including an AM-15 semi-automatic assault rifle, resulted in a $3,000 court sentence for smuggling. Another traveller was fined $10,000 after tossing a loaded .45-calibre handgun onto the pavement at the North Portal crossing.
Coming in at a close second was significant enforcement under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Officers at North Portal refused entry to more than 480 foreign nationals for various reasons including criminality, such as manslaughter and sexual assault convictions. CBSA Criminal Investigations also laid seven charges in an immigration fraud case. This was first time the CBSA prosecuted a case of this kind in Saskatchewan.
In third place, officers seized suspected child pornography on six different occasions – three at international airports and three at the land border. Officers at North Portal also demonstrated protection of children by removing a United States man attempting to enter Canada to live with a 13-year-old minor he claimed was his girlfriend.
There were also several large-scale interceptions of regulated goods. Officers at Saskatoon International Airport seized 147 litres of undeclared alcohol found inside a commercial container in June. In another case, CBSA Criminal Investigations laid charges after officers at North Portal uncovered 222 kg of undeclared tobacco in April.
Finally, officers kept nearly 1,700 prohibited weapons off Saskatchewan streets, including more than 1,600 switchblade knives found inside a commercial trailer at North Portal. Other prohibited weapons seized included brass knuckles, stun guns, and pepper spray.
“As officers, we take great pride in serving the province and the communities that we call home. We are Canada’s front line and are committed to utmost diligence in securing the border and keeping Saskatchewan residents safe.” – Tim Ziola, A/Director, Southern Alberta and Southern Saskatchewan District, Canada Border Services Agency
- CBSA officers in Saskatchewan welcomed more than: 715,500 travellers in more than 181,700 cars, 139,100 commercial trucks, 150 buses, 2,600 aircraft, and 1,500 trains.
- Officers welcomed more than 3,100 new permanent residents, issued more than 2,200 work permits, and issued more than 160 study permits.
- While fulfilling their duty to screen travellers entering Canada, officers executed 295 seizure actions.
- Officers refused entry to more than 830 foreign nationals for various reasons including criminality.
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)