A bill proposing to bolster the powers American border guards yield in Canada including the ability to strip search and detain Canadians could lead to legal challenges against the federal government, immigration experts are warning.Part of a bilateral agreement with the U.S., the bill, when passed, will grant American customs agents the right to carry weapons within Canada, perform body searches and detain but not arrest them.READ MORE: Canada border bill passed through U.S. SenateIt will also allow U.S. agents to force a Canadian in a preclearance area, who has decided not to travel to the U.S., to stay in the area for questioning. Right now, that same traveller has the right to simply turn around and leave the area without action or consequence.WATCH: Public safety minister says it s the passport that determines status, not the NEXUS card
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Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, has admitted that search-and-rescue (SAR) missions in the Mediterranean Sea are strengthening criminal migrant smugglers business model and increasing total drowning deaths.
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Both border surveillance and SAR missions close to, or within, the 12-mile territorial waters of Libya have unintended consequences. Namely, they influence smugglers planning and act as a pull Dangerous crossings on unseaworthy and overloaded vessels were organised with the main purpose of being detected by EUNAVFOR Med/Frontex and NGO vessels. Apparently, all parties involved in SAR operations in the Central Mediterranean unintentionally help criminals achieve their objectives at minimum cost, strengthen their business model by increasing the chances of success.
Migrants and refugees encouraged by the stories of those who had successfully made it in the past attempt the dangerous crossing since they are aware of and rely on humanitarian assistance to reach the EU. The end result is that crossings to Italy reached an all-time high of 182,000 in 2016, with an attendant rise in drowning deaths: 5,083, as compared with 3,777 in 2015 and 3,279 in 2014. Frontex acknowledges the scope of the problem is alarming , with SAR missions forming an essential component of the people smugglers operations and providing them with a distinct tactical advantage .
Even so, the EU agency concludes that SAR efforts will continue as long as the migratory crisis persists in the Central Mediterranean not only because they relate to international legal obligations, but also because they stem from European values. Australia drew the opposite conclusion from its own migrant crisis, which also saw people-smugglers sending unseaworthy vessels towards their destination with inadequate fuel, radioing ahead for them to be picked up and escorted to their target country by the authorities. These crossings reached a high of 403 boats and 25,173 migrants in 2012-13 before former prime minister Tony Abbott launched Operation Sovereign Borders. This military-led mission sees smuggler boats either turned back to their port of origin or escorted to a third country, with migrants asylum applications processed off-shore. Genuine refugees are homed outside Australia at the commonwealth s expense.
The Australian approach is unlike the European policy in that it is designed to reduce drowning deaths by strongly disincentivising illegal sea-crossings. It appears to have been successful, with the government recently reporting that it has been 900 days since the last smuggler boat reached Australia. Tony Abbott has advised EU leaders that If you want to stop the deaths [and] you want to stop the drownings, you have got to stop the boats .
Speaking in Prague in late 2016, the London-born conservative said Effective border protection is not for the squeamish, but it is absolutely necessary to save lives and to preserve nations. The truly compassionate thing to do is: stop the boats and stop the deaths. Abbott has also warned that Many of those taking to boats across the Mediterranean or clamouring at Europe s gates look set to join an angry underclass , and the migrant crisis could, therefore, represent an existential threat to European societies.
Too many are coming not with gratitude but with grievance, and with the insistence that Europe should make way for them. Some of Turkey s leaders have even urged Muslims to take back parts of Europe, and among the would-be migrants are soldiers of the caliphate bent on mayhem.
Published Tuesday, February 14, 2017 5:59AM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 14, 2017 1:08PM CST
A 58-year-old Winnipeg Transit driver has died after an attack involving a passenger. Police said the driver, Irvine J. Fraser, died after the assault on the University of Manitoba campus just before 2 a.m. Tuesday morning. Winnipeg Police Service Chief Danny Smyth said the assault involved the driver and a passenger, but it s unclear if it happened on or off the bus. Smyth said there was no one else on board at the time of the attack.
Smyth said they don’t know at this time what led to the attack.
“Certainly, we’re allowing the investigators to do their job. As we know, most transit buses have recordings. It will be up to our investigators to try to review what occured prior to the assault,” Smyth said. Fraser was found with serious stab wounds. He was taken to hospital where he later died. Smyth said police responded to the scene moments after the attack. Witnesses were able to point officers toward the Red River, which runs adjacent to the campus.
Officers and the Canine Unit found a suspect on the frozen river between Freedman Cresc. to north and Marine Drive to the south. A 22-year-old man was arrested. No charges have been laid, but Smyth said there will likely be an update soon. An officer returned to the ice to continue the investigation, but fell through. Officers used a rope to pull him to safety. He was not injured.
‘No ongoing safety concerns’: university
As U of M students at the Fort Gary campus walked to class Tuesday morning, their campus was a crime scene. Students are shocked, and at least one bus driver said he had butterflies driving Tuesday. Tim Cornborough has been a Winnipeg Transit driver for five years. He would like drivers to have more security.
“I would like to see more officers and cadets on the busses,” Cornborough said. The University of Manitoba said in a statement they will share more information with the WPS to aid in its investigation.
According to the university, there are no ongoing safety concerns on campus, although traffic has been impacted. As a result of the investigation, the university said the following roads are closed: MacLean Crescent, preventing all access to parking lot N, Alumni Lane at Freedman Crescent, and westbound access on Dafoe Road from Alumni Lane. The university said classes will resume as usual.
Transit safety questions raised:
The city will revisit options to increase bus driver safety following the deadly attack.
Winnipeg’s Chief Transportation Officer Dave Wardrop said he spoke with the transit union, and they agreed to discuss new safety measures. Currently, all busses are equipped with four or five cameras, and both uniform and undercover police officers take random bus rides. Both Smyth and Wardrop could not say how often officers are on board.
Wardrop also said the use of shields will be looked at again. Following a past pilot project, the city and the union did not agree on a plan to install them. Wardrop called it a difficult day for the city, and said counselling services are being offered to staff. He said this is the first time a Winnipeg bus driver has been killed as a result of an altercation.