Hindu priests to CBSA: No women officers, please!

THERE is anger and disgust among Canada Border Services Agency officers following CBSA managers allowing five Hindu priests not to be screened by women border guards at Toronto’s Pearson airport’s Terminal 3 on July 28 because of their religious beliefs, CBC News reported Thursday.

A CBSA officer told the CBC they were told before their shift not to switch work stations with other officers without first asking a supervisor because five persons had requested to be handled only by male officers.

Customs worker and local union president Mark Weber told CBC that many of his members were outraged at this discrimination.

An officer told CBC: “Everybody is upset that this request was even entertained by the CBSA. People are saying ‘What is next? If white supremacists come through, do we move all non-white officers from the line?’”

The officer said: “You are a guest in my country. What do you mean you don’t want to deal with me because I’m a woman? We are considered law enforcement officers. I can’t imagine any police force entertaining something like that.”

Weber said his union might complain to the Canadian Human Rights Commission and wants CBSA managers to clarify the policy regarding such requests.