OPP did not have 'leading role' in CBSA immigration arrests
The Ontario Provincial Police says it did not have "any leading role" when the Canada Border Services Agency arrested 21 people for immigration violations during a commercial vehicle safety blitz last week.
The CBSA has told CBC News that the OPP and staff from the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Environment took part in a safety blitz on Aug. 14, along a stretch of Wilson Avenue between Jane Street and Highway 400.
"As a result of this OPP blitz, the CBSA arrested 21 individuals in violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act," the CBSA told CBC News, the day after those arrests.
On Sunday, the OPP told CBC News that its staff did not have a big role in those arrests.
"There was one officer that assisted in the program as a patrol officer, that was out on the highways looking for unsafe vehicles," said Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, an OPP spokesperson, in an interview with CBC News.
In a statement, the Ministry of Transportation told CBC News that Thursday had been the first time it had been "invited to participate in an activity organized by the CBSA" and that its staff had been focused on vehicle inspections.
Some members of the Latin American community feel they were unfairly targeted by the CBSA.
The CBSA did not have anyone available to speak with CBC News on camera on Sunday.
However, CBC News has learned that CBSA agents have started joining roadside safety stops within the last year in a bid to pool resources.
With a report from the CBC's Shannon Martin