New RCMP headquarters inaugurated in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Sergeant Major John Génier (left); Valleyfield Mayor Miguel Lemieux; François Deschênes, Assistant Commissioner and Commander of C Division in Quebec and Gilles Michaud, Deputy Commissioner, Federal Policing, participate in a ceremony to inaugurate the new RCMP facility in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield on October 29, 2018.

RCMP officers in traditional Red Serge uniforms along with representatives from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) provincial police force and local political dignitaries participated in a special ceremony to officially inaugurate the new RCMP detachment headquarters in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield on Monday, October 29.

The ceremony was officiated by RCMP representatives Sergeant Major John Génier; Gilles Michaud, Deputy Commissioner of Federal Policing and François Deschênes, Assistant Commissioner and Commanding Officer in Quebec. Mayor Miguel Lemieux and other local political dignitaries participated in the event.

Illegal contraband

The detachment’s responsibilities include patrolling the southwestern border region between New York State and Quebec from Lacolle in the east to Dundee, adjacent to the Ontario border in the west, said Corporal Geneviève Byrne, RCMP Communications Officer with the Westmount branch.

The patrols between the official ports of entry is to stop high-level organized criminals from bringing in large amounts of contraband into Quebec, including illegal tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and firearms. “We’re working hard to make sure these items don’t come into our country and to protect our citizens,” said Byrne.

To deter this type of criminal activity, the RCMP enforces federal legislation including the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Customs Act and the Excise Act. The SQ may also assist during certain police operations.

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

The new RCMP facility in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield.

Illegal immigration

Officers also look for people trying to enter Canada illegally. “If someone crosses the border without reporting to an official port of entry, it’s illegal,” said Byrne. “We proceed by arresting them. Our main purpose when we arrest someone is to deter others from crossing illegally. We’ll make a few inquiries about the history of the person and identify them through their passport.”

The RCMP work in tandem with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) which keep the official points of entry secure, and the SQ who provide assistance during illegal border crossings anywhere in between border stations. “After people who make an illegal crossing are secured, they are sent to the CBSA where more information will be gathered,” said Byrne.

“Anyone who crosses the border illegally is not granted immediate entry. We have to ensure the security of Canadians is enforced. We just don’t take them and put them on the street. If we cannot determine a person’s past or their history, they will be detained until more information is received. Afterwards, they fall under the control of Immigration Canada,” said Byrne.

Maritime patrol

RCMP Officers also conduct a maritime patrol of Lake St. Francis which borders southwestern Quebec, southeastern Ontario and northern New York State near the Akwesasne Mohawk reserve, to stem the flow of contraband that may originate from the area.

“We work in partnership with the Akwesasne Police because there’s a part of their territory that falls under Canadian jurisdiction,” said Byrne. “There can be smuggling. We don’t know but we have to protect the whole border. That’s why we work with the Akwesasne Police on this issue. We have a good relationship with them.”

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