Canada Border Services Agency investigation underway after inspection of Red Deer Justice Centre worksite

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Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) confirms it is looking into an unidentified subcontractor after its officers visited the Red Deer Justice Centre worksite last April as part of an investigation under the Immigration and Refugee Protections Act (IRPA).

The agency said its officers visited the downtown Red Deer site on April 19, 2023, and that the investigation remains ongoing, but cannot provide more details on specific cases unless charges have been formally laid.

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“The CBSA enforces or assists other federal departments and agencies, as well as the provinces and territories, in enforcing more than 100 acts and regulations,” said an agency statement, noting it is responsible for investigating “complex cases involving organized fraudulent activity, or a history of non-compliance, and primarily targeting the organizers, facilitators and perpetrators of the crimes and who pose a threat to the integrity of Canada’s border legislation.”

It also notes that, “the agency has a legal obligation to remove all foreign nationals found to be inadmissible to Canada under the IRPA.”

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News of the investigation was first reported Tuesday by rdnewsNOW.

The facility is intended to replace the existing Red Deer courthouse, and has been under construction since 2020 with a cost initially estimated at $207 million.

In last week’s budget, the province set aside $23 million for the centre followed by a further $9 million the following fiscal year.

Alberta Infrastructure communications director Brendan Procé stated in an email that the department is aware of the CBSA investigation.

“The contractor and subcontractors are responsible for the hiring and vetting of their workers,” a statement reads.

Clark Builders is listed on the provincial government’s website as the contractor at the site. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It is not yet clear who the subcontractor is.

The centre is expected to be completed in the first half of this year.

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