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Immigration officers to work fewer hours due to budgetary shortfalls

OTTAWA, Ont. -- Immigration officials won't be staffing border crossings overnight due to cutbacks to overtime, acc...

OTTAWA, Ont. — Immigration officials won’t be staffing border crossings overnight due to cutbacks to overtime, according to excerpts from a memo published by Sun Media today.

The entire overtime budget for immigration workers has already been spent.

“Continue to support mandatory overtime only. Mandatory is when you have no choice, i.e. when a … officer calls in sick, you can’t say that the border is closed,” says an Oct. 2 memo. “Manage risk where you can, i.e. if it’s not a terrorist case and it does not impact public security, it can wait until the next business day.”

Immigration officials have responded by saying customs officers can fill in most of the time.

“Of course, those (immigration) officials will not be there, but we will have people from customs who will have the same authority as an agent of immigration,” Immigration Minister Denis Coderre told reporters yesterday.

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