This weeks column for 24Hrs: Oversight needed at Canadian Border Services Agency

Columnists Laila Yuile and Brent Stafford battle over the issues of the day. The winner of last week’s duel on the transit referendum was Laila with 64%.

This week’s topic: Should the Canadian Border Services Agency be held responsible for the death of Lucia Vega Jimenez?

Brent’s submission this week is thoughtful and pointed, speaking to several issues far bigger than just the tragic death of Lucia Vega Jimenez. There is always room for future debate on Canada’s immigration policies, as well as the greater responsibility of handling refugee claims and deportation proceedings in a humane manner.

Without a doubt, it was Jimenez who undertook the specific actions that ultimately led to her death. Sadly, nobody seems to know what specifically drove her to hang herself, although it’s clear she greatly feared a return to her native Mexico. She also had reportedly suffered a betrayal via theft of her savings by a boyfriend.

Read Brent Stafford’s column

While Brent conditionally absolves the Canadian Border Services Agency of all wrongdoing in this particular incident, he fails to address the many lingering questions left behind after the RCMP investigation was closed. How does one have the ability to hang themselves while in custody in a monitored facility? How often are detainees checked? Who is responsible for checking them? What are their qualifications and are those employees capable of recognizing the signs of emotional duress?

CBSA has not been forthcoming with any information. Nor has CBSA commented on the contracting out of the B.C. immigration holding centres operations or staffing to Genesis Security Group, which has a contract worth $6.2 million that ends March 31, according to the federal government bid site…

READ the rest of this weeks post, comment and vote for who you think should win this weeks duel, at