Accountability from elected officials is one of the reasons why I first ran as City councillor after finding as a small business owner many of my calls to City hall went unanswered by both public servants and elected leaders of the day. People deserve to be heard and in my view that includes a timely response as much as possible. I mention accountability because recently some may recall reports of a local Canadian woman who encountered some difficulty at the United States Roosville, Montana border crossing. The encounter, as reported by the citizen in question, resulted in some very serious and disturbing allegations against several male members of the United States border staff who work at this particular border crossing.
Whenever serious allegations of this nature are raised it is critically important that there be a full investigation – this is part of the process of accountability and also offers protection to both sides to help ascertain factually what occurred and why. This situation was challenging as the citizen in question to the best of my knowledge is not one of my constituents and as a Canadian elected representative of the Federal Government I have no official standing with the United States Customs and Border Protection Service. None the less that did not deter my determination to see this citizen receive full and proper attention from the relevant US authorities. I can now provide an update on this situation.
Recently I received a letter on this matter from no less than the United States Ambassador to Canada, Mr. Bruce Heyman. For those who may be less familiar with International protocol to receive a letter directly on this matter from the US Ambassador is an indication that the United States Government is taking these allegations extremely seriously.
Ambassador Heyman assures me that the US Customs and Border Protection Agency has very strict policies against these types of situations and is currently in the process of actively investigating this incident and will conduct a full and through investigation. Although I do not at this time know the outcome of this investigation or the expected completion date I do appreciate that Ambassador Heyman, on behalf of the United States Government, has taken the time to respond with an update on what actions are currently being undertaken as a result of this complaint.
I will provide further updates on this subject as they become available.
Original KelownaNow article: https://www.kelownanow.com/watercooler/news/news/Kelowna/16/05/27/Local_MP_offers_support_to_Kelowna_woman_after_border_incident/
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament elect for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.