Min­is­ter Toews must face the facts:

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Stanstead

NewDemocrats were in Stanstead to­day, call­ing on the Min­is­ter of Pub­lic Safety to stop the par­ti­san games and ad­dress the grow­ing prob­lem of il­le­gal bor­der cross­ings - 300 in Stanstead alone since Jan­uary.

«When faced with the le­git­i­mate con­cerns of those liv­ing in bor­der com­mu­ni­ties like Stanstead, the Min­is­ter has re­fused to an­swer ques­tions, played po­lit­i­cal games, and de­nied the prob­lem even ex­ists,» said NDP Pub­lic Safety Critic Rosane Doré Le­feb­vre. «He must take the sit­u­a­tion se­ri­ously, ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for the Con­ser­va­tive cuts and work to­ward a so­lu­tion. This is pub­lic safety and se­cu­rity we’re talk­ing about here.»

«We in­vite Min­is­ter Toews to come here and see with his own eyes what is hap­pen­ing in Stanstead and else­where along the bor­der,» said MP for Compton-Stanstead Jean Rousseau. «Maybe if the Min­is­ter comes out here and sees it for him­self, he’ll bet­ter un­der­stand and stop deny­ing the prob­lem.»

The Con­ser­va­tives cut $143 mil­lion from the Cana­dian Bor­der Ser­vice Agency’s an­nual bud­get and put 260 jobs on the chop­ping block in Quebec alone.

«You can’t re­duce the hours of­fices are open, close down some of­fices al­to­gether, and throw guards out of work and still ex­pect to main­tain the same lev­els of se­cu­rity,» said Na­tional Pres­i­dent of the Cus­toms and Im­mi­gra­tion Union, Jean -Pierre Fortin. «What is in­con­sis­tent with the gov­ern­ment is that it claims to be the ‘law and or­der’ party, but it re­duces moni- tor­ing at the bor­ders.»

«The full con­se­quences of these cuts are dif­fi­cult to know,» said NDP MP Pierre Ja­cob (BromeMis­sisquoi). «What the num­bers don’t tell us is how many peo­ple are il­le­gally cross­ing the bor­der with crim­i­nal in­tent, such as traf­fick­ing guns, drugs or hu­mans. The Min­is­ter must take ac­tion now.”

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