Minister Toews must face the facts:
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.”