- The Agency is in regular communication with the Customs and Immigration Union. The CBSA has instituted the following:
- weekly ad-hoc calls with Union Executives;
- Workplace Occupational Health and Safety Committee meetings twice weekly (in addition to regular meetings);
- weekly Policy Health & Safety Committee meetings (this is in addition to the regular quarterly meetings);
- regular check-ins with Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) President, which are currently occurring twice daily; and
- enhanced communication between Regional Directors General and Regional union representatives across the country.
- I have personally spoken with the President of the CIU and during our conversation, I reiterated our Government’s commitment to ensuring the health and safety of frontline employees.
- Feedback from the union concerning enhanced communication measures has been positive.
- The CBSA continues to work to alleviate the concerns raised by the CIU. It has:
- deployed over 90 additional Border Services Officers (BSOs) to reduce the strain on front line staff;
- ensured that all BSOs have the personal protective equipment needed;
- sanitized countertops and other frequently touched areas in the CBSA hall and the arrivals area using a specialized cleaning solution to prevent the spread of COVId-19 to its officers; and
- received confirmation from airport authorities that frequent cleaning of the communal areas and kiosks, which falls under their responsibility, is being done.
- The CBSA remains in constant contact with officials from the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada to ensure up-to-date guidance is provided to officers.
The Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) have an expectation that Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) Quarantine Officers will be onsite at airports across the country. To manage resources, Quarantine Officers is available through calling a Central Notification Service telephone line. While the CBSA has provided the CIU an explanation of PHAC capacity and capabilities, however, the CIU has insisted on the physical presence of PHAC Quarantine Officers present at the airports receiving international flights (Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver).
PHAC has advised that the following resources are available:
- Screening Officers – In addition to Border Services Officers who are trained as Screening Officers under the Quarantine Act, PHAC has placed additional Screening Officers to assist Border Services Officers in screening. These are not Quarantine Officers and the final determination on quarantine needs to come from a Quarantine Officer by calling the Central Notification Service. The primary duties of PHAC Screening Officers are to:
- assess signs and symptoms of ill travellers identified; the CBSA Border Services Officers remains the primary screening officer to assess the traveller under the Quarantine Act;
- assist PHAC’s Central Notification Service Quarantine Officer by performing temperature checks of ill travellers; and
- assist the CBSA Border Services Officers, by calling the PHAC’s Central Notification Service to complete a remote health assessment over the phone.
- Information Officers – This is a new function implemented in January 2020 when enhanced measures were put in place for Hubei province. An Information Officer’s role is to provide printed materials to travellers, answer basic questions related to COVID-19, and point travellers to sources of information. These officers are not medical professionals, so their scope is limited to promoting awareness and providing information to travellers. These employees stand at a PHAC kiosk in the luggage retrieval area for international arrivals. They are currently placed in Vancouver, Montreal and Terminal 3 Toronto. They do not play any role in screening or assessing passengers.
Prepared by: Julia Tokarew, a/Chief of Staff, Human Resources Branch, 613-948-3186
Approved by: Louise Youdale, Vice-President, Human Resources Branch, 613-948-3180
- Date modified: