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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.

CI

My Rant April 3rd 2011 – Federal Election 41

So there is an upcoming election.

As of yet I have had no response from anyone regarding their policies or proposals on the current state of the CBSA. What I would like to know is each party’s stance on the current hiring freeze, budget cuts and the ongoing arming initiative.
Why be on Twitter if you are not going to reply to followers?
If you are wondering why there are long line ups at the airports and border crossings…its due to the lack of staffing and restrictions on overtime. The lack of staffing is a result of attrition. Staff retire or move to a different department or agency and their spots are not backfilled. We have pools of people waiting for jobs but no money to hire them. Everyday we are expected to do more with less.
I understand that we are trying to come out of a recession but to cut back on an agency that is responsible for the movement of people and goods, directly affecting the  economic prosperity of Canada; not to mention aside from Canada Revenue Agency, as far as I know we are the only other federal agency that actually brings in significant revenue.
So I would like to know….Mr. Harper, Mr. Igantieff, and Mr. Layton, what do you plan to do about this going forward?

I would like to know the following:

1. How do you plan to address the lack of staff and more importantly lack of funding for the CBSA?….the agency that is responsible for the security and economic prosperity for Canada.

2. What is your position on the ongoing arming initiatives?

3. What is your position on the current hiring and competition process administered by the public service commission? I find the current practice extremely ineffective as it rewards people that can write tests and perform in interviews which is not an indication of them being the best fit for the position. Much as passing the bar doesn’t mean you will excel at being a lawyer or getting your teaching certificate means you will be a great teacher.

I will probably not get a response to this post...but I’m putting it out there. I hope any Canadian reader outs there will question there MP about this. Especially  those of you that I know have experienced the frustration of waiting in long lines at customs, waiting days for a response from the agency, waiting days for the results of an examination so you can get your shipment…and most of all those of you that feel that our service standards are sorely lacking. Some of these things are unavoidable….but many are not. Everyday I feel the public’s pain and there is not much I can do but do my part to try make things better…but in reality my hands are tied because we don’t have the staff, and we don’t have the resources. What resources we do have…much is allocated in the wrong way….and then there’s all the red tape.
So if you travel, import, export or even order or have goods shipped to you…please call or write your MP and ask them when they come knocking….what are you going to do about this?

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