A Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) logo is seen on a worker

A base of operations for the Canada Border Service Agency is The Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre (GTEC), located at 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga Ontario.  GTEC’s public area is like a subway station in a large urban centre.  There are Advertisements in the form of Cable Pulse 24 emanating from two flat screen televisions.  There is an ethnically  diverse group of people, many signs directing one to wheel chair accessibility, a device that disseminates a ticket (required to see an enforcement officer), and the persons  waiting are understandably glum.    The seats are durable and uncomfortable, some having that ability to impress a waffle pattern onto your body.  There is an escalator at one part of the  public area as well (the back entrance).

Some officers wear uniforms and others do not.  You speak to an officer through glass containing a metallic circle that allows the officer to hear you despite the presence of the surrounding wall of glass, as is similar to a transit worker at a subway station’s entrance.  I recall the level of formality being much lower than in the late 1990s.  At that time, I was able to view a CBSA file in the area reserved for officers, and  use the CBSA’s internal photocopier.  That level of formality subsequently changed.

Like a subway station, GTEC can be a starting point for you to be taken away to a different destination.  In some cases you may be taken to be detained temporarily at 385 Rexdale Boulevard, or other institutions.   In other cases, you may be detained and then removed from Canada.

Other interactions may be relatively innocuous, such as when you are instructed to report to a CBSA officer periodically in person, once or twice a month.  Reporting also takes place at an alternative CBSA office, located at 74 Victoria Street, 10th floor.  Other meetings may be convoked to offer  a Pre Removal Risk Assessment, or to update a residential address, or to provide information regarding  passports or other government documents like birth certificates.

Cooperation with CBSA officers is essential where individuals are instructed to facilitate their removal from Canada.  The failure to demonstrate cooperation with the CBSA may lead to detention.  If there an individual is summoned to GTEC and is not conversant in one of Canada’s official languages, then an interpreter should accompany the individual.

The meeting rooms are meant to accommodate two persons plus an officer and are quite small.  The sound insulation is such that persons who have meeting In adjacent rooms can sometimes hear eachother.  There is something of an overflow sections where privacy is even more sparse, where unrelated clients have discussions with officers separated by a burgundy curtain.

If you have an invitation to meet a CBSA officer at GTEC, you may wish to consult our office about that invitation and what may occur at GTEC.

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