Canada Border Services Agency ignores coroner’s jury in Lucia Vega Jimenez case

Posted by admin on Jul 15th, 2015

By Tara Carman

The federal government has awarded the Canada Border Services Agency security contract for the immigration holding centre at the Vancouver airport to Garda Canada, ignoring a coroner’s jury recommendation that CBSA use its own officers.

The jury made the recommendation amid revelations that a supervisor from the previous security firm, Genesis, falsified room check records the morning Mexican national Lucia Vega Jimenez hanged herself in a shower stall. The inquest heard evidence Genesis frequently understaffed the centre to the extent that guards could not safely perform room checks, and that guards routinely played video games or watched movies on overnight shifts.

The security contract was announced in a notice dated July 7 and posted on the website of Public Works and Government Services Canada. Montreal-based Garda World bills itself as the largest private security company in the world, with 48,000 global employees and $1.4 billion in annual revenue.

The contract involves providing guard services for the CBSA’s airport holding centre and Library Square day cells, as well as transporting detainees between the two locations and provincial jails in the Fraser Valley. Garda will provide these services until March 31, 2017, with the option to renew for up to a year, at a cost of $2.9 million, according to the award notice.

Public Works has had difficulty finding a security firm capable of fulfilling the contract requirements. The department first posted the tender notice Dec. 24, but cancelled it “after it failed to yield any compliant proposals,” Public Works spokesman Dan del Villano said in a statement. The department re-posted it in March, and extended the Genesis contract in the interim.

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