Canadian Authorities Can't Keep Agencies Straight
Canadians Scramble To Protect Border
This may be the most astounding Loonie story ever!
Apparently, when there's trouble on the Canadian side of the border, officials aren't sure who to call. RCMP? Canada's Border Services Agency? American county sheriff's deputies? The Three Stooges?
In this incident on the BC/Montana border, it was American deputies to answered the call, after unarmed Canadian customs agents hadn't a clue what to do when gunfire broke out near their office.
They called the RCMP, but Lincoln County, Montana deputies arrived to find a murder victim a few feet into American territory.
Canadian officials interviewed for this AP story gave differing accounts of who is responsible for policing the border on the Maple Leaf side:
(Jeremy Hainsworth- AP Canada via Seattle P-I- 4 May 2005)
The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office was called to the Roosville border crossing between British Columbia and Montana after reports of gunfire on Saturday. Robert Donald Mast, 42, of Eureka, Mon., was found dead several feet from the Canadian border in the United States.
Eureka police later stopped Wayne Allen Hixon, 51, also of Eureka, who was coming from the border area. He has been charged with homicide, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department.
On the northern side of the border, Canadian customs officials called the nearby Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP, for assistance when the shooting broke out, said Ron Moran of the Customs Excise Union Douanes Accise, the union representing Canadian customs officers.
Gunfire so close to the customs office alarmed the unarmed officers, Moran said. He said the incident indicates the need for a dedicated, Canadian armed service to act as a backup for customs officers and to patrol the border.
"There is nobody on the Canadian side patrolling the Canadian border," he said, noting that job nominally falls to the RCMP.
RCMP spokesman Sgt. Gilles Deziel, however, said it was not the RCMP responsibility to patrol the border. That falls to the Canada Border Services Agency, he said from the RCMP's Ottawa headquarters.
"The bottom line is nobody's doing the work," (Moran) said. "There is definitely mass confusion in terms of financing, in terms of mandate, in terms of jurisdiction."