Canadian Conservative MP promises armed border guards

[JURIST] A high-ranking Canadian MP likely to be named to a Cabinet position in the new Conservative party government [JURIST report] of Prime Minister-elect Stephen Harper said Wednesday that the party would honor its campaign pledge to arm Canadian border guards after an incident [CBC report] in British Columbia on Tuesday, when some unarmed guards with the Canadian Border Services Agency [official website] left their posts after receiving word that two murder suspects were headed their way from California. Vic Toews [official website], the party's Justice Critic while in opposition, said arming the guards "[is] simply a practical matter of how soon these officers can be trained and the firearms issued to them." Canadian labor laws allow workers to refuse to work if they feel they are in imminent danger. The two suspects were eventually arrested after a gun battle with US border agents. A vice president of the union representing the border guards said he was glad that Toews has suggested the change. A June 2005 Canadian Senate report [PDF text] recommended that border guards be armed as one of several reforms to Canadian border security policy. The Conservative party has promised to put more emphasis on crime and security issues as it takes over from the old Liberal party government of Prime Minister Paul Martin. AP has more.

 

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