A new regulation effective next spring will give Canadian customs officers more power to arrest individuals at the border.
The passage of Bill C-18, the Act to Amend the Customs Act and the Criminal Code, represents a significant change for the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA). The regulation will be implemented at 32 large and medium land border crossings.
The first border crossing affected will be the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Canada Tunnel in Windsor, which will begin in May 2000.
Officers will be equipped with batons and OC spray (pepper spray) and will be required to pass comprehensive training in their use, but they will not carry firearms.
Designated officers will also be trained to detain and arrest individuals who are the subject of outstanding Canadian arrest warrants.
Training will concentrate on offences that are encountered regularly at the border such as impaired driving, child abduction, and possession of stolen property.