In writing this blog post, we are not advocating filing
baseless, frivolous, vexatious and retaliatory complaints against
Canada Border Services Agency ("CBSA") officers. However,
we have learned from the experience of our clients that some
legitimate complaints arise from time-to-time. It is in the
spirit of transparency and openness that we have decided to write
about the CBSA complaints process.
Before we give this information to you, we ask one thing –
when you write a complaint, do not do so in anger. We talk to many
clients who have had a bad experience with the CBSA and they are
upset. Many people call us in a very emotional state.
What we say to everyone is to “press pause”. Take
your time to be fair. After you write the service complaint,
do not press “send” right away. Print what you
have written and put it in a drawer for 24 hours. Then read
the complaint again and make any changes that you feel are
warranted and appropriate. If you send a fair service
complaint that is factual, rather than emotional, you increase the
chances that the reader will address your concerns.
There is an online form that you can complete to file a
There is also a better option. You may write a thoughtful
complaint to the Recourse Directorate.
Canada Border Services Agency
Ottawa, ON K1A 0L8
Your letter should include:
your name, address, telephone
a description of what happened
including the date, time and port of entry; and
where possible, the name and/or
badge number of the CBSA officer involved.
Based on our experience, the Recourse Directorate will send the
complaint to the relevant port of entry (where the CBSA officer at
issue works). The CBSA will conduct an investigation into the
complaint. Our clients have received telephone calls from
supervisors seeking more information about the incident in
question. While the Recourse Directorate does not inform what
action was taken, they have communicated that action will be
Thousands of complaints have been filed against the CBSA –
here is a link to a 2011 article.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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While that agreement mandated export measures on Canadian softwood lumber exports destined for the United States, it also protected those lumber exports from the potential imposition of onerous import measures by the U.S.
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