In April 2013 the Council of Canadians joined with 90 other groups to call for the cancellation of the TV show ‘Border Security’.
At that time we signed a joint letter to then-Public Safety minister Vic Toews that stated, “We are deeply concerned about the traumatic and potentially dangerous consequences upon all those who find themselves being filmed for ‘Border Security’. In ‘Border Security’ a highly one-sided narrative is told about those crossing the border under varying circumstances or those people in the process of migration, which has the particular long-term impact of spreading fear about and among immigrant and migrant communities. …Deportation is not entertainment. We urge you to cancel, stop participating in, and end the broadcast of ‘Border Security’.”
Vancouver-based Council of Canadians organizer Harjap Grewal had commented, “The CBSA and the government should be held accountable for their participation in this disgusting reality TV show, which is profiting from the violation of privacy of migrant workers and the suffering of families. The last few years have seen the demonization of various groups – environmentalists, activists and Indigenous communities, by the federal government. Now this TV show is singling out refugees and migrants for public amusement – it’s wrong.”
Maude Barlow also commented, “The Harper government and the production company should not be collaborating on a disgusting for-profit show that has turned deportation into entertainment. Is this really where the federal government is spending taxpayer resources and what broadcasters are choosing as programming?”
And No One Is Illegal spokesperson Harsha Walia stated, “Since this show appears to be filming people without their free and informed consent, it is now time for all of us to proactively protect our individual privacy rights and to collectively assert that we will not participate in this media production subsidized by the federal government that exploits stories of personal humiliation at the hands of law enforcement.”
Now the Canadian Press reports, “Canada’s border agency is pulling the plug on the controversial reality TV program ‘Border Security’ after the federal privacy commissioner found the agency violated the rights of a construction worker filmed during a raid in Vancouver. Privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien recently informed the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, which spearheaded a complaint on behalf of Oscar Mata Duran, that the Canada Border Services Agency breached the Privacy Act by allowing production company Force Four to film the agency’s examination of the migrant labourer.”
The article adds, “In light of the well-founded complaint, Therrien’s office recommended the border agency end its participation in the television program, which the agency agreed to do. Agency spokeswoman Esme Bailey confirmed that ‘Border Security: Canada’s Front Line’ would not return for a fourth season.”
Congratulations to the BC Civil Liberties Association, No One Is Illegal-Vancouver Unceded Coast Salish Territories, Diana Thompson, and all others who led and participated in the broad-based Cancel Border Security Campaign.
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