News Article | February 21, 2017
There has been a reported increase in the number of individuals trying to trespass into Canada — several doing so under dangerous and freezing conditions — since President Donald Trump assumed office. Canada Border Services Agency said that it found 22 people illegally crossing the border into the Canadian province of Manitoba this weekend, and in a separate but related incident eight asylum-seekers, including four children, were photographed while they attempted to make their way into the Canadian border. The scene captured in photographs recorded a family parked in a taxi near the Canadian border in Champlain, New York. Four adults and four young children fled the cab toward the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) while a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer was questioning a man in the front passenger seat. The family claims that they are Sudanese and had been living and working in Delaware for two years. As they approached them, the RCMP helped lift the children up off the snow and reportedly asked an adult woman if she required any medical care while the man being questioned for verification of his papers by the U.S. officer threw his belongings and luggage into the snow-covered gully that separated them. "Nobody cares about us," he said, according to Reuters. The man then reportedly grabbed their passports, which had been seized by the U.S. officers, before making a run for it. Although the U.S. officer yelled and chased the man, he made it past the border marker and into the hands of the Canadian police. The border patrol police officer reportedly told his Canadian counterpart that he was in the process of detaining the man who was an undocumented immigrant in the United States. He then passed the luggage to the RCMP, which carried the articles, along with the people into their vehicles, so that they could be transported to a nearby border office for an interview. A number of individuals have been trying to trespass into Canada and several are doing so under dangerous and freezing conditions. The influx has reportedly increased after President Donald Trump's executive order barring refugees and travelers from seven countries entry into the United States (the order has been now temporarily suspended by a U.S. federal appeals court), and since sweeping raids on undocumented immigrants led to more than 600 arrests from 11 states. The Canada Border Services Agency said that the 22 people who attempted to cross the border this weekend were being processed in accordance with the Canadian law, CNN reported. About 100 people have crossed into a small border town known as Emerson, Manitoba, in just two months, the report added.
News Article | November 7, 2016
CDPQ, PSP Investments, Investcorp and Jay Alix to acquire ownership stakes from CVC Capital Partners AlixPartners employees will continue to have a significant ownership stake NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - November 07, 2016) - AlixPartners, the global advisory firm, today announced a group led by the firm's founder, Jay Alix, and three leading global investors, has agreed to acquire ownership stakes in the business from CVC Capital Partners ("CVC"). The transaction values AlixPartners at more than US$2.5 billion. The new ownership structure will include Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec ("CDPQ"), Public Sector Pension Investment Board ("PSP Investments") and Investcorp Group ("Investcorp"), together with founder and current shareholder Jay Alix. AlixPartners' Managing Directors will continue to hold a significant stake in the firm and have access to a new equity system. Founded in 1981, AlixPartners works with clients to help them restore, grow and create sustainable value, in high-impact situations. Its services comprise performance improvement; turnaround and restructuring; investigations, disputes and risk; digital transformation; and transformative leadership. CVC acquired a majority stake in AlixPartners in 2012. The firm has since grown from 950 to more than 1,600 professionals and expanded from 17 to 25 offices on four continents. Simon Freakley, Chief Executive Officer of AlixPartners, said: "We are delighted to welcome CDPQ, PSP Investments and Investcorp as long-term shareholders. Their commitment will allow us to continue to grow our business and best serve our clients. We are now in our 35th year and, with revenues of $1 billion, AlixPartners is on a great trajectory." Mr Freakley added: "Our unique approach, assigning experienced teams, acting quickly and delivering practical solutions for very complex problems, has been key to our success and allows us to work with some of the world's largest companies. We are very grateful to CVC, who shared our vision and played an integral role in the firm's growth over the last four and a half years." Roland Lescure, Chief Investment Officer and Head of Private Equity at CDPQ, said: "Over the past 35 years, AlixPartners has developed expertise that is now sought after worldwide and helps companies stay on the leading edge in highly competitive markets. The resilient nature of its activities and its strongly diversified business model make it an attractive investment for CDPQ. By working with partners that share our long-term vision, we aim to support AlixPartners' growth for many years to come and help further expand the firm's footprint and capabilities." Guthrie Stewart, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Private Investments at PSP Investments, said: "We were highly attracted to the opportunity to participate in the continued growth of AlixPartners. The firm has a leading market position, tremendous opportunity for further expansion, and, importantly to us, an outstanding entrepreneurial culture that will drive its continued success. We look forward to supporting the next phase of AlixPartners' global growth alongside strong partners with aligned long-term interests." David Tayeh, Investcorp's Head of Corporate Investment, North America commented: "We are pleased to have the opportunity to invest with Jay Alix, the Managing Directors and our co-investment partners in supporting the continuation of AlixPartners' growth. AlixPartners' business model of providing high impact consulting and advisory services is deeply valued by its blue chip client base. The Company's long term success will continue to be driven by a talented group of Managing Directors providing excellent results for its clients." Chris Stadler, Managing Partner at CVC Capital Partners, said: "We are delighted to have played a part in AlixPartners' growth over the last four and a half years. The firm has evolved into a leading, global advisory business that delivers significant value for its clients. I am confident that AlixPartners will continue to thrive under its new ownership structure and we look forward to continuing our relationship with the firm as their client." The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of 2016. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs acted as lead financial advisors to AlixPartners and CVC. Legal counsel was provided by the following firms: Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP (to CVC), Paul, Weiss (to AlixPartners), Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (to CDPQ), Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (to PSP Investments), White & Case LLP (to Investcorp), and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (to Jay Alix). In today's fast paced global market, timing is everything. You want to protect, grow or transform your business. To meet these challenges we offer clients small teams of highly qualified experts with profound sector and operational insight. Our clients include corporate boards and management, law firms, investment banks, investors and others who appreciate the candor, dedication, and transformative expertise of our teams. We will ensure insight drives action at that exact moment that is critical for success. When it really matters. For more information visit alixpartners.com, linkedIn, twitter or facebook. Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As at June 30, 2016, it managed CA$254.9 billion in net assets. As one of Canada's leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure and real estate. For more information, visit cdpq.com, follow us on Twitter @LaCDPQ or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages. The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) is one of Canada's largest pension investment managers with CA$116.8 billion of net assets under management as at March 31, 2016. It manages a diversified global portfolio composed of investments in public financial markets, private equity, real estate, infrastructure, natural resources and private debt. Established in 1999, PSP Investments manages contributions to the pension funds of the federal Public Service, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Reserve Force. Headquartered in Ottawa, PSP Investments has business offices in Montréal, New York and London. For more information, visit investpsp.com or follow Twitter @InvestPSP. Investcorp Group ("Investcorp") is a leading global provider and manager of alternative investment products. The Investcorp Group has offices in Bahrain, London, New York, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Doha. Investcorp has three business areas: corporate investment, real estate investment and alternative investment solutions (formerly known as hedge funds). As at June 30, 2016, the Investcorp Group had $10.8 billion in total assets under management ('AUM'), including assets managed by third party managers and assets subject to a non-discretionary advisory mandate where Investcorp receives fees calculated on the basis of AUM. Further information, including our most recent periodic financial statements, which details our assets under management, is available at investcorp.com. CVC Capital Partners ("CVC") is a leading private equity and investment advisory firm. Founded in 1981, CVC today has a network of 24 offices and approximately 340 employees throughout Europe, Asia and the U.S. To date, CVC has secured commitments of more than US$65 billion from some of the world's leading institutional investors across its European and Asian private equity, strategic opportunities and growth funds. In total, CVC currently manages over US$33 billion of assets. Today, funds managed or advised by CVC are invested in 51 companies worldwide, employing c.330,000 people in numerous countries. Together, these companies have combined annual sales of over US$90 billion.
News Article | March 2, 2017
The former border crossing used by refugees as they walk from the United States to enter Canada at Emerson, Manitoba, Canada February 25, 2017. REUTERS/Lyle Stafford OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian and U.S. officials are working on a plan to tackle asylum seekers crossing into Canada illegally, with American officials keen to discover how they entered the United States in the first place, said a source familiar with the matter. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is set to visit Canada this month for talks on the border and the influx of people, said the source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. Hundreds of people, mainly from Africa but also the Middle East, have walked across the border, seeking asylum. They are fleeing President Donald Trump's crackdown on illegal immigrants, migrants and refugees agencies say. It is not common to have so many asylum seekers based in the U.S. looking for refuge in Canada over such a short period. Scott Bardsley, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, said the majority of people crossing in recent weeks held valid passports and U.S. visas. The influx poses a political risk for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who faces pressure from the left, which wants him to let more in, and from the right, which fears an increased security risk. He must also ensure the issue does not complicate his relations with Trump. "We are talking with our counterparts in the United States to ensure that we're addressing this situation properly," Trudeau told reporters in Calgary, Alberta. Security experts have said the asylum-seekers could pose a threat if the flow picks up once the weather improves and authorities do not take additional steps. Canadian and U.S. officials speak daily about the border crossers and law enforcement agencies from both nations met in Montreal last month to plot strategies, the source said. The U.S. side asked Canada to provide details of the asylum seekers, in particular, how they had entered the United States and what their status was there. The Montreal summit grouped representatives from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canada Border Services Agency, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. RCMP spokeswoman Annie Delisle confirmed the meeting took place, and said the two sides agreed on an "action plan which outlines a collaborative approach to dealing with the influx". An official in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the crossings were very limited and did not represent a major security concern. "Frankly, it is far more embarrassing to this country than it is threatening," said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The official, and a second person directly involved in border affairs, said U.S. authorities had not mounted a major effort to beef up border security, in part because they lack manpower and equipment. A senior Canadian security source classified the risk as medium- to long-term, since it was likely that those crossing the border really were seeking asylum. Vast stretches of the 5,500-mile (8,900-km) frontier are unguarded and the more images spread of people walking across, the more vulnerable Canada could become, said the source. "If we keep this up for a while, and it becomes known that the border really is porous, then people will use it as an opportunity to put (operatives) in," said the source. Exact numbers are hard to calculate, since not all authorities release details. In January and February, 143 people walked illegally over the border into Manitoba, local police said. As of Feb. 13, some 3,800 people had made an asylum claim in 2017, up from the same period last year, said Bardsley. That number, though, includes all people seeking asylum, and the government would not break down the figures.
News Article | November 15, 2016
Take the 2017 Canada Day Challenge for your chance to win a VIP trip to Parliament Hill to take part in celebrations for the 150th anniversary of Confederation GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Nov. 15, 2016) - Created 30 years ago, the Canada Day Challenge is an annual contest that gives young Canadians aged 8 to 18 the chance to share their unique vision of our country. This activity gives young people the chance to express their creativity in one of three categories: Three winners will be chosen at the end of the contest. They will each receive an unforgettable VIP trip to Ottawa with a parent or legal guardian, all expenses paid, to take part in celebrations for the 150th anniversary of Confederation on Parliament Hill. Their entries will also be featured on official posters for Canada Day celebrations in 2017. Once again this year, the winners will get the chance to work with a team from the National Film Board and produce an individual short film to share their experience in Canada's Capital Region. In addition to the Canada Day Challenge, Historica Canada is holding a contest for aspiring young filmmakers: Here's My Canada. Visit heresmycanada.ca for more information. Canadian Heritage wants to thank the official sponsors of the Canada Day Challenge: the National Film Board, Parks Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Encounters with Canada, the Trans Canada Trail, Canada Post, the Canadian Museum of History and the Royal Canadian Mint. To find out more about the contest and entry rules, or for other educational resources, visit the Canada Day Challenge website at www.canada.ca/canada-day-challenge. "In 2017, Canadians will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. This is the perfect opportunity for young people to express their creativity through the 30th Canada Day Challenge. They are invited to celebrate the future by capturing our country's culture and heritage in drawings, photographs and the written word. I invite young people all across Canada to demonstrate their talent with this contest, which is sure to be a unique creative experience for them once again this year." Follow us on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Flickr.
News Article | April 18, 2016
Last week, a joint investigation by Motherboard and VICE News revealed that Canada’s federal police are in possession of the “global encryption key” that unlocks every non-corporate BlackBerry user’s encrypted BBM messages. But we didn’t know how they got it. BlackBerry still has not commented directly to Motherboard or VICE News on the specifics of the investigation, but CEO John Chen published a blog post on Monday addressing the report in broad strokes… very broad strokes. Chen essentially gave a version of the US government’s standard GLOMAR response—that is, neither confirming nor denying the answer to the most burning question raised by our investigation: Did BlackBerry give the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or RCMP, the key to every consumer BlackBerry user’s digital front door? “Regarding BlackBerry’s assistance,” Chen wrote instead, “I can reaffirm that we stood by our lawful access principles. Furthermore, at no point was BlackBerry’s BES server involved.” Chen went on to laud BES, or BlackBerry’s Business Enterprise Server, for corporate customers, as “impenetrable” and described Blackberry as the “gold standard” in security for government and corporations. Chen did not mention regular, non-corporate BlackBerry users here, possibly because the key in the RCMP’s possession only targets phones not on the BES network. BlackBerry’s lawful access principles are extremely broad, stating that the access must be “limited to the strict context of lawful access and national security requirements as governed by the country’s judicial oversight and rules of law.” BlackBerry also “maintains a consistent global standard,” and does not make special deals with specific countries. “John’s blog post today frames the point of view the company has and that’s the extent to which we’ll be providing our point of view,” a BlackBerry spokesperson said when reached for comment. “Lawful access is a highly sensitive subject and we needed to convey that the stance we took at the beginning is the stance we’re taking now.” In 2012, BlackBerry reportedly gave the Indian government access to customer BBM messages via undisclosed means under the aegis of its lawful access policy. “For BlackBerry, there is a balance between doing what’s right, such as helping to apprehend criminals, and preventing government abuse of invading citizen’s privacy, including when we refused to give Pakistan access to our servers,” Chen wrote. BlackBerry’s security dust-up with the Pakistani government has been well-documented, since BlackBerry refused to give the government access to its secure business servers. Again, the key in the RCMP’s possession does not target business servers—instead, it can decrypt any BBM messages sent between regular, non-corporate, consumer devices. The struggling phone manufacturer has recently capitalized on Apple’s head-butting with US law enforcement over the ability to unlock suspects’ phones by positioning itself as a company that provides strong security for its users, while cooperating with law enforcement when lawfully asked do so. While BlackBerry continues to beat the security drum for its more powerful clients, however, it seems regular folks are being left out of the conversation, and potentially without adequate protection from snooping cops.
News Article | February 28, 2017
Workers at MedReleaf in Markham charge they were terminated because they tried to unionize TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 28, 2017) - The struggle to win union rights for medical cannabis workers in Canada has entered a new chapter, with the commencement of hearings at Ontario's Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal (AFRAA Tribunal) for workers at MedReleaf in Markham, Ontario. The Markham-based MedReleaf operates an industrial facility with approximately 50 employees who grow, trim, harvest, and package medical grade marijuana. The MedReleaf workers have been trying to join UFCW Canada (United Food and Commercial Workers union) for nearly two years, and are now fighting for their right to unionize and bargain collectively at the tribunal. The MedReleaf struggle first began in May 2015, when workers at the facility contacted UFCW Canada in order to join the union. With a majority of MedReleaf workers having signed union cards, UFCW Canada applied for certification at both the provincial and federal labour boards. Not long after the applications were filed, the federal labour board ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over the matter, despite the fact that medical cannabis production is tightly regulated by Health Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Within days of the federal ruling, MedReleaf started terminating the leaders of the union organizing campaign at its facility. UFCW Canada in turn filed charges of unfair labour practices against the company at the Ontario Labour Relations Board. Before the hearings into the charges began, the provincial labour board deemed the workers to be agriculture workers in December 2015, despite the factory-like dynamic of many medical marijuana facilities. Since agriculture workers in Ontario are excluded from the provincial Labour Relations Act, the Board's ruling effectively stripped cannabis workers of the right to unionize and bargain collectively. Soon after the provincial ruling, MedReleaf terminated even more union supporters. To date, 11 union supporters have been terminated by MedReleaf, including all of the leaders who started the organizing campaign. Having been rejected by both the federal and provincial labour boards, the only avenue left for MedReleaf workers is the AFRAA Tribunal. The tribunal is available to any agricultural worker whose right to freedom of association has been violated. However, this is only the second time in history that the concerns of workers seeking to bargain collectively have been heard by the tribunal. Now, nearly two years after the union drive at MedReleaf, the tribunal has commenced twelve days of hearings. The first three days of hearings commenced February 7, and the tribunal will reconvene March 1. Should the tribunal rule in favour of the union, UFCW Canada hopes that the workers will be reinstated with full back-pay, and that the company will be legally obligated to negotiate a collective agreement with the union. It is a long and monumental struggle that will have implications for workers across Canada's burgeoning cannabis sector. "This is about achieving justice for all cannabis workers," says Philip Manorath, one of the leading inside organizers at MedReleaf and the first worker to be terminated following the organizing campaign. "There is no reason why cannabis workers should be denied the right to form a union and bargain collectively, when every other worker in Ontario has the right to do so." UFCW Canada is Canada's leading and most progressive union, representing more than a quarter of a million workers in Canada's fastest growing industries. UFCW Canada is the country's most innovative organization dedicated to building fairness in workplaces and communities. To find out more about UFCW Canada and its innovative work, please visit www.ufcw.ca.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Workers at MedReleaf in Markham charge they were terminated because they tried to unionize TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 10, 2017) - The struggle to win union rights for medical cannabis workers in Canada has entered a new chapter, with the commencement of hearings at Ontario's Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal (AFRAA Tribunal) for workers at MedReleaf in Markham, Ontario. The Markham-based MedReleaf operates an industrial facility with approximately 50 employees who grow, trim, harvest, and package medical grade marijuana. The MedReleaf workers have been trying to join UFCW Canada (United Food and Commercial Workers union) for nearly two years, and are now fighting for their right to unionize and bargain collectively at the tribunal. The MedReleaf struggle first began in May 2015, when workers at the facility contacted UFCW Canada in order to join the union. With a majority of MedReleaf workers having signed union cards, UFCW Canada applied for certification at both the provincial and federal labour boards. Not long after the applications were filed, the federal labour board ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over the matter, despite the fact that medical cannabis production is tightly regulated by Health Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Within days of the federal ruling, MedReleaf started terminating the leaders of the union organizing campaign at its facility. UFCW Canada in turn filed charges of unfair labour practices against the company at the Ontario Labour Relations Board. Before the hearings into the charges began, the provincial labour board deemed the workers to be agriculture workers in December 2015, despite the factory-like dynamic of many medical marijuana facilities. Since agriculture workers in Ontario are excluded from the provincial Labour Relations Act, the Board's ruling effectively stripped cannabis workers of the right to unionize and bargain collectively. Soon after the provincial ruling, MedReleaf terminated even more union supporters. To date, 11 union supporters have been terminated by MedReleaf, including all of the leaders who started the organizing campaign. Having been rejected by both the federal and provincial labour boards, the only avenue left for MedReleaf workers is the AFRAA Tribunal. The tribunal is available to any agricultural worker whose right to freedom of association has been violated. However, this is only the second time in history that the concerns of workers seeking to bargain collectively have been heard by the tribunal. Now, nearly two years after the union drive at MedReleaf, the tribunal has commenced twelve days of hearings. The first three days of hearings commenced February 7, and the tribunal will reconvene March 1. Should the tribunal rule in favour of the union, UFCW Canada hopes that the workers will be reinstated with full back-pay, and that the company will be legally obligated to negotiate a collective agreement with the union. It is a long and monumental struggle that will have implications for workers across Canada's burgeoning cannabis sector. "This is about achieving justice for all cannabis workers," says Philip Manorath, one of the leading inside organizers at MedReleaf and the first worker to be terminated following the organizing campaign. "There is no reason why cannabis workers should be denied the right to form a union and bargain collectively, when every other worker in Ontario has the right to do so." UFCW Canada is Canada's leading and most progressive union, representing more than a quarter of a million workers in Canada's fastest growing industries. UFCW Canada is the country's most innovative organization dedicated to building fairness in workplaces and communities. To find out more about UFCW Canada and its innovative work, please visit www.ufcw.ca.
News Article | October 28, 2016
MONTRÉAL, QC--(Marketwired - October 26, 2016) - Siyata Mobile Inc. (the "Company" or "Siyata") (TSX VENTURE: SIM) ( : SIMFF) is pleased to announce that it continues to receive purchase orders from various divisions of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ("RCMP") for its Uniden® UCP100 (previously Truckfone) device. Since receiving its first order from the RCMP in late 2015, Siyata has continued to see strong demand for its Uniden® UCP100 device to replace the 2G Motorola M800 devices and other aging communications devices inside commercial vehicles. As a result, over 22 divisions of the RCMP across Canada are outfitted, or in the process of being outfitted with the Uniden® UCP100. As the Canadian national police service and an agency of the Ministry of Public Safety, the RCMP is unique in the world as a national, federal, provincial and municipal policing body. There are currently more than 700 RCMP detachments comprised of over 8,500 vehicles throughout Canada. Marc Seelenfreund, CEO of Siyata Mobile, commented, "We are very pleased with our ongoing marketing efforts towards the RCMP. This market continues to be a large-scale opportunity in Canada for our Uniden® portfolio replacing existing unreliable 2G hardware with Siyata's 3G enabled devices." The Uniden® UCP100 is the ideal solution for the RCMP, offering crystal clear transmission even in rural areas thanks to a powerful speaker, a dedicated microphone and external antenna. With 3G connectivity and a simple user interface, the UCP100 allows effective hands-free communications for drivers. Siyata Mobile Inc. develops, markets and sells a portfolio of innovative Uniden® cellular devices targeting niche, large-scale commercial vehicle and industrial markets. The Uniden® UCP100 and UCP200 are the world's first 3G connected-vehicle-devices, specifically built to be a robust communication platform inside commercial fleets, trucks, military, emergency service vehicles and many other commercial fleets. Siyata's customers include cellular operators, commercial vehicle technology distributors, and fleets of all sizes in Canada, the US, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. Visit http://www.siyatamobile.com/ to learn more. On Behalf of the Board of Directors of: Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This news release may include forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. All statements within, other than statements of historical fact, are to be considered forward looking. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include market prices, continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions. There can be no assurances that such statements will prove accurate and, therefore, readers are advised to rely on their own evaluation of such uncertainties. We do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements except as required under the applicable laws.
News Article | February 19, 2017
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers assist a child from a family that claimed to be from Sudan as they walk across the U.S.-Canada border into Hemmingford, Canada, from Champlain in New York. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi CHAMPLAIN, N.Y. (Reuters) - Nine asylum-seekers, including four children, barely made it across the Canadian border on Friday as a U.S. border patrol officer tried to stop them and a Reuters photographer captured the scene. As a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer seized their passports and questioned a man in the front passenger seat of a taxi that had pulled up to the border in Champlain, New York, four adults and four young children fled the cab and ran to Royal Canadian Mounted Police on the other side. One by one they scrambled across the snowy gully separating the two countries. RCMP officers watching from the other side helped them up, lifting the younger children and asking a woman, who leaned on her fellow passenger as she walked, if she needed medical care. The children looked back from where they had come as the U.S. officer held the first man, saying his papers needed to be verified. The man turned to a pile of belongings and heaved pieces of luggage two at a time into the gully -- enormous wheeled suitcases, plastic shopping bags, a black backpack. For more news videos visit Yahoo View, available now on iOS and Android. "Nobody cares about us," he told journalists. He said they were all from Sudan and had been living and working in Delaware for two years. The RCMP declined on Friday to confirm the nationalities of the people. A Reuters photo showed that at least one of their passports was Sudanese. The man then appeared to grab their passports from the U.S. officer before making a run for the border. The officer yelled and gave chase but stopped at the border marker. Canadian police took hold of the man's arm as he crossed. The border patrol officer told his counterpart that the man was in the United States illegally and that he would have detained him. Officers on both sides momentarily eyed the luggage strewn in the snow before the U.S. officer took it, and a walker left on the road, to the border line. The RCMP carried the articles to their vehicles, and the people piled in to be driven to a nearby border office to be interviewed by police and to make a refugee claim. People seeking refugee status have been pouring over the Canada-U.S. border as the United States looks to tighten its policies on refugees and illegal immigrants. Asylum-seekers sneak across because even if they are caught, they can make a claim in Canada; if they make a claim at a border crossing, they are turned away. [L1N1FO1Z8]
News Article | March 3, 2017
The former border crossing used by refugees as they walk from the United States to enter Canada at Emerson, Manitoba, Canada February 25, 2017. Picture taken Febraury 25. REUTERS/Lyle Stafford OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada sees no signs of a coming surge in asylum seekers illegally crossing the border from the United States, a senior government official told reporters on Thursday, even as a steady stream of people continued to walk across the frontier. Several hundred people, mainly from Africa, have defied winter conditions to enter Canada since Jan. 1. They are fleeing President Donald Trump's crackdown on illegal immigrants, migrants and refugee agencies say. A briefing by Canadian officials was the first of its kind and comes as the Liberal government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau comes under increasing domestic political pressure to deal with the influx. Trudeau must also ensure the issue does not complicate his relations with Trump. Security experts predict more will try to come as the snow melts and the weather warms. But officials told the briefing it was too early to say whether a trend was developing and noted the number involved was still very small compared to the roughly 26,000 people who ask for asylum in Canada on average every year. "There is no reason to believe that simply changes in weather patterns is going to lead to (an) increase," said one official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. As dawn broke on Thursday, Reuters photographer Dario Ayala watched the Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrest a group of five - a man, two women and two children - after they scrambled across a ditch near the Quebec town of Hemmingford, on the border with New York state. The people said they came from Syria. An RCMP officer standing on the Canadian side warned the group they would be detained if they crossed. "Sorry, sorry, we have no choice," said the man. Once in Canada, they were detained, and driven off for processing. Later the same morning, at the same spot, Ayala saw police arrest seven people who said they were from Eritrea. Reuters could not independently verify nationalities of people crossing the border on Thursday. Government officials acknowledge an increase in people seeking asylum this year while insisting they have enough resources to cope. Although no one has yet been charged by the police for illegally crossing the border, all those detained are checked to make sure they do not have convictions for serious crimes. "We are not releasing anyone we have concerns about," another official told the briefing.