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Pictures of the Customs College – Rigaud, Quebec – Amenities

Today I’ve decided to share some picture and info on the amenities at the Customs College in Rigaud, Quebec or the formal name which is the CBSA Learning Centre.

Rigaud is a quaint little town…and I mean little!…and I was pleasantly surprised to find quite beautiful. The town has a few little businesses like a hairdresser and few restaurants. The best is probably the greasy spoon down the street where you can get pizza, pasta or even a decent souvlaki if you get sick of the cafeteria food. There is also a Tim Horton’s but no Second cup or Starbucks unfortunately. So if you are a coffee lover you will have to drive for any specialty coffee. As for grocery stores, there is a Metro and an IGA.

The College Campus is quite nice actually. I believe the building was originally a monastery or something to do with the church as there are stained glass windows in one of the training rooms.



Opened in April 1980








The main entrance.







here is a couple shots of the greenery.








  I did spend sometime at this picnic table reading. it was very peaceful!








So lets start with what my room looked like.

Here’s the bed.

  I actually slept great on this bed. It was a queen. mattress is firm.

There is a phone for local calls or charges apply. The phone also flashes red if you have a message. At the bottom left hand corner you can see the edge of a mini fridge. No its not a mini bar!

At the top left you can see part of the closet where you can hang up clothes.





I also had my own TV and a desk.








Here’s what my bathroom looked like.

  Nothing special but not bad at all….served the purpose.










Ok so now let me show you the cafeteria.


  They try to stagger when people have their lunches as depending on occupancy the cafe can get quite packed and the lines long. Also once they run out of something that its so get their early!







 The Coffee station. Nectar of the gods. I was here many times a day!!! Its almost always open.







There was one area for deli stuff like sandwhiches and pita wraps, then there were two islands one for sides, and one for a salad/fruit bar. At the back was the grill for burgers, fries, hot mains, steak, clubhouse sandwiches, poutine etc.







  Bacon and breakfast sausage!








  French toast








  Fruit medley of some kind








 More fruit.








 Fresh grapefruit! Breakfast was definitely my favourite meal of the day.









 After all that food, may be you would like to work some of the calories off here at the gym. The equipment is not bad but not much in the way of free weights. There was one bench press and some dumbells…there rest were machines. Oh they also has a smith machine.






For those of you who prefer sports there is a gymnasium where you can play volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, badminton etc…

















or you could go for a swim in the indoor pool (which may have been shut down)









And then have a sauna before you shower.

A little tight I know….and no its not co-ed!










  In the basement of the residence wing there is a lounge in the basement where people get together to relax.







 There is also a pool table in the lounge








 and table tennis…I must say I became quite proficient at ping pong!








 And Bubble hockey! not free or  always operational but a classic!








for those of you who prefer to read there was a shelf with a few books on it for anyone to borrow.








 There was also a communal microwave








 A TV room you could reserve for a movie night








 With some nice seating…even if the TV is outdated…maybe they have a flat screen now.







 Here is the laundry room. you will need your own detergent as they don’t sell any.

In the room next door is a room dedicated for ironing.







 Here is the internet lab….where the connection is like two paper cups with a string in between. Supposedly its regular, but it was super slow.

Also many websites are blocked from being accessed. So if you are a facebook addict bring your own 3G / 4G device.






 And lastly, here is the port of Rigaud where some of the training is done. Just like the real thing!!!








Overall, the amenities were better than I expected the first time I went. Just having your own room is nice. The food is not bad and if you get tired of it there a few place nearby off campus. I must say that I enjoying going to Rigaud and I find it to be a really beautiful place.

For any new recruits going, I’m sure you will be fine with the facilities.

I hope you enjoyed this post













CBSA Launches Social Media Campaign

Yay! The CBSA social media finally launched its social media campaign!

Below is the first video they posted on their new CBSA Youtube channel and I have to say its not bad at all.





They are also on Twitter as @CanBorder

and have a Facebook Page as the Canada Border Services Agency

I love it! I just really hope they will use social media to really engage and help people.
I pray they don’t ignore people or censor people who dissent.

They have clearly outlined their terms of use policies here so I hope that aside from people who violate these terms that the rest will be acknowledged and assisted with whatever their issues are.

Word is that there may soon be a CBSA reality tv shows or series coming to TV soon. In 2004, Australia was the first country to have a reality series show on their Customs officers and what they do and apparently it was a huge hit down under. The show was called Border Security: Australia’s Front Line and was on Channel 7 from 2004-2008. The US also had a show called Homeland Security which ran on ABC for 13 episodes. In my opinion it wasn’t bad but not nearly as good as the Australian show. I have my fingers crossed our Canadian version will be as good or better.

Either way it will be good for the public to see a little about what we do.

CBSA was created in 2003 and in 2011 most people have no idea what CBSA stands for or what the Canada Border Services Agency does; hence my reference to Canada Customs (even my domain name). So some branding is better than no branding I guess.

I have to admit that while I am ecstatic that CBSA finally adopted social media…I’m not holding my breath that it will be done right. There is this psychology or culture within the agency to tip toe around anything that could even be remotely considered to be in conflict with the Privacy Act or section 107 of the Customs Act. People are afraid even though the legislation clearly outlines when we can and when we cannot release information. The authority to release the names of suspected war criminals was always there…but for some reason until this year people were too afraid to do just this. I really don’t understand why. Maybe they didn’t feel comfortable until public sentiment was there alongside with conservative government in power. I can only speculate.

On a side note, I know that this site is being monitored by the agency. I hope that they have reached the conclusion that what I am doing is not illegal or against the agency in any way. I hope they understand that I truly do what I do because I love my job and want to help others every way I can. I recognized a hole online that needed to be filled and so I tried to fill it. Now that the Agency is attempting to do the same perhaps my services will no longer be necessary and my blog will have to change accordingly. I don’t know. I guess we will see.

Thanks for reading.