BORDER PROTECTION AND SURVEILLANCE - Canada Border Services Agency - Border services officers

Law360 Canada (October 27, 2023, 10:47 AM EDT) -- Application by applicants for declaratory and other relief. The applicants applied for judicial review of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Liaison Officer’s (Officer) decisions cancelling their electronic travel authorizations (eTAs) to prevent them from boarding their flights to Canada. The applicants alleged that the Officer lacked authority to cancel their eTAs and the Officer’s decisions were discriminatory. The CBSA officers were trained to detect “indicators” that travellers might be misrepresenting the true purpose of their travel to Canada. In both cases, one of the indicators relied upon by the Officer to cancel the applicants’ eTAs was that their intended hosts in Canada were successful refugee claimants. The applicants maintained that the indicator “association with refugees” when applied to Hungarian-Roma travellers, was discriminatory and contravened international human rights law. The applicants submitted that the Officer decided to cancel their eTAs because they exhibited the suspicious indicator “association with refugees”. The respondent conceded that the Officer’s decisions should be set aside on the grounds that they were procedurally unfair and unreasonable. The respondent acknowledged that “association with refugees” was not a sufficient justification to cancel an eTA, although the respondent disputed that it was the sole or even the primary reason for the Officer’s decisions. The respondent stated that declaratory relief was not warranted in the cases and ordinary administrative law remedies would suffice....
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