New inductees honoured at CBSA graduation ceremony in Rigaud


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

The Honourable Bill Blair (left), federal Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction joined Vaudreuil-Soulanges Liberal MP Peter Schiefke (who is also the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister for Youth and the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction); Stéphane Boyer, Supervisor for the CBSA detector dog training program; and John Ossowski, CBSA President with detector dog Gustav at the CBSA College in Rigaud July 12 for the school’s annual graduation ceremony and a chance to see some of the training programs.

A group of more than 60 new border control agents and their families took part in an induction ceremony attended by federal government dignitaries at the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA) College in Rigaud last Friday morning, July 12.

The Honourable Bill Blair, federal Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction; Peter Schiefke, Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister for Youth and the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction; and John Ossowski, CBSA President were on hand to witness the auspicious event and congratulate the inductees.

Maintaining border security

“I personally love graduations. These men and women who are joining the public service at CBSA today should be proud of their accomplishments. It’s a great celebration not only for them and their families but for Canada. They’re entering into service for their country,” Blair told The Journal.

“The CBSA performs an invaluable role for Canadians in maintaining the security and integrity of our borders. I was impressed with the quality of the candidates who are graduating today for their extraordinary diversity and their commitment to service. It was a great opportunity to have shared this day with them,” added Blair.

High-calibre officers

The 22-week Officer Induction Training Program (OTIP) is designed to train and develop high-calibre officers to serve in a modern, armed law enforcement agency. Recruits are trained in skills such as inspection tactics, seizure, detention and arrests, use of force, firearms skills, as well as wellness and adherence to the CBSA’s code of conduct.

The 67 officer trainees are now qualified for posting on the frontline at various border facilities throughout the country. The CBSA selects and trains over 300 officers each year.

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Stéphane Boyer, Supervisor for the CBSA detector dog training program and his partner, detector dog Gustav inspect a car trunk suspected of having a hidden packet of cocaine during a demonstration of Gustav’s detection abilities.

Pride for Vaudreuil-Soulanges

“It’s a sense of pride as the MP for Vaudreuil-Soulanges that Rigaud houses this incredible facility and trains the next generation of CBSA officers to go out there and be on the frontlines and essentially be responsible for protecting us day in and day out. It’s also a sense of pride for all Canadians,” said Schiefke.

“The reality is we have one of the best training facilities and programs that exists in the world not only for the inductees who just graduated and will go out across the country to work on our borders and ports of entry, but also for the detector dog program which is a source of pride,” Schiefke added.

Detector dog Gustav in action

After the graduation ceremony, Blair and Schiefke got a first-hand look at one of the CBSA’s detector dogs in action. Stéphane Boyer, supervisor for the CBSA detector dog training program, had Gustav successfully detect a small envelope of cocaine that was hidden in the trunk of one of three cars.

The CBSA detector dog training program is renowned worldwide for excellence in canine detection training. The CBSA currently has 64 detector dog teams working at strategic locations across Canada. Schiefke noted the Liberal government is committed to providing financial support for border security.

$1 billion in support

“We take this very seriously as a government. We’re proud that we’re investing not only in providing more resources for those men and women who are on the frontlines – $1 billion in support over the next five years – but also $31 million to create new dog training teams that will be spread out all across the country,” added Schiefke.

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