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Entry at U.S. customs: Canadians’ records direct to rejection

Information entered into national police database receptive to American powers: Wikileaks


More than twelve Canadians have told the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office in Toronto inside the previous year that they were hindered from entering the United States after their records of dysfunctional behavior were imparted to the U.S. Bureau of Homeland Security.


One such lady, Lois Kamenitz of Toronto, reached the office the previous fall, after U.S. customs authorities at Pearson International Airport averted her from entering a flight to Los Angeles on the groundwork of her suicide endeavor four years prior. As she was passing through customs, a Customs and Border Protection officer said while he didn’t have Kamenitz’s medical records, he had a contact note from the police that showed they had went to her home in 2006. Kamenitz says, “It dawned on me that he was referring to the 911 call my partner made when I attempted suicide.”


Another lady, writer Ellen Richardson of Toronto, was denied a flight to New York as a part of a cruise excursion. She was told by U.S. customs authorities at Pearson International Airport in late November, 2013, that on the grounds that she had been hospitalized for clinical misery in June 2012, she couldn’t enter the U.S. Accordingly, she missed her flight to New York City and a Caribbean journey.


Agonized over travel


Stanley Stylianos, program director at the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office, says his associates had heard more than twelve stories like Kamenitz’s.


The office has accepted telephone calls too from various Canadians who are concerned that their mental health histories might cause security stalls throughout future visits south of the border.


As such, the RCMP hasn’t given the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office with clear replies about how or why police records of peaceful mental health episodes are gone to the U.S.


Brad Benson from the U.S. Branch of Homeland Security says restorative records aren’t imparted between countries. Nonetheless, “if you have an arrest record, Canada would share that with us,” he says. “Dysfunctional behavior is really a [legal] excuse for why that you may not get approved,” he says. “The issue is always going to be: could someone be a danger to someone [else]?”




As per diplomatic links disclosed prior not long from now by Wikileaks, any data entered into the national Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database is open to American powers.


Data on CPIC may hold notes composed by officers while capturing a singular or reacting to a 911 call, an individual’s criminal record, warrants, missing persons reports, data about stolen property, data in regards to persons of investment, and people’s history of emotional sickness, incorporating suicide endeavors, in which police are included.


For Kamenitz’s situation, this could clarify how U.S. authorities had a record of the police reaction to the 911 call her accomplice made in 2006, after Kamenitz took an overdose of pills.


The database holds anything that could alarm powers to a potential danger to open wellbeing and security, and all CPIC data is accessible to the U.S. Branch of Homeland Security, RCMP Insp. Denis St. Pierre says. There are a couple of special cases, incorporating data in regards to youthful reprobates, which is not accessible to American powers.


“If a person is a danger to themselves and the police are dealing with that person in another jurisdiction… It’s valuable information, knowing that perhaps this person may harm themselves,” St. Pierre says.


9.6 million Records


Consistent with a RCMP site, the CPIC database saves 9.6 million records in its investigative databases.


The RCMP and U.S. law authorization orgs give corresponding coordinate access to one another’s criminal databases so as to stem the stream of opiates and criminal dealings into North America, consistent with the Wikileaks link.


The point when gotten some information about the offering of police data for security purposes, Kamenitz says the administration is “obviously not considering what the impact of that can be and how much that can alter a person’s life.” Kamenitz notes that suicide isn’t a criminal offence in either country. “It speaks to the myth we still hold,” Kamenitz says, “that people with a mental illness are violent criminals.”


Distinct cases


Kamenitz was inevitably permitted to board a plane to Los Angeles, four days following her missing flight. In any case so as to do along these lines, she needed to submit her medicinal records to the U.S. and get approval from a Homeland Security-approved specialist in Toronto, who charged her $250 for the service.


In the same way, Richardson was said she could merely cross the threshold to the U.S. if a doctor from a definite list signed a paper guaranteeing for her. She will need to pay $500. Unlike Kamenitz, Richardson refused and exited to home. After that she questioned how the agent discerned her past at first. Richardson states she has been on numerous trips since 2001, all of which requisite U.S. flights, with no difficulties. She said, “It really hit me later — that it’s quite stunning they have that information.”


Benson says the reaction from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers for Kamenitz’s situation was decently common. “Now that the note from her doctor is on her records,” he says, “I wouldn’t expect her to have any more problems.”


In the Homeland Security form Kamenitz was needed to round out many inquiries regarding if she had a history of substance ill-use and if she had any transferrable illnesses, for example, Aids or tuberculosis.


“These are private and personal medical records that I’m now handing over to a non US government,” she says.


Stylianos says Canadians ought to be insulted that individuals’ mental health data is imparted over the border. “It is a seriously private matter for numerous people,” he says.


‘You can’t control it’

Stylianos says his associates are campaigning for this records not to be incorporated in the CPIC database or imparted to the U.S. Division of Homeland Security as a major aspect of a standard border screening process.


“Once that information gets into the American system, you can’t control it,” he says.


Richardson has enlisted a legal counselor and turned to her Member of Parliament, Mike Sullivan, for replies.


Sullivan says the evident absence of police participation presents Richardson’s defense particularly abstruse. While her stay in the hospital was led by a 911 call, police were never included, simply an emergency vehicle.


“We don’t know how deep the association is between U.S. customs and Canadian authorities”, he said.


NDP health faultfinder France Gelinas said she’s been reached by three individuals who have been denied access to the United States hooked on their individual health history. Gelinas asked Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian to scrutinize previously.


Cavoukian said she will study the matter to guarantee that particular health data isn’t traded.


She said such data shouldn’t be imparted to anybody outside their human services suppliers and doing so undermines the trustworthiness of all health services in Ontario.


“An A person’s medical history is something that must remain absolutely confidential,” said Gelinas.




As per the same diplomatic link disclosed by Wikileaks, which incorporated information from 2004 and 2005, Americans accepted that regardless of the open database imparting, “Canada’s strict protection laws” have constrained the well-timed trade of data between the two countries.


In the 10 years since the Sept. 11 strike, the two countries have battled to go to a concurrence on how best to police the border.


The organizations of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama are in talks over an edge security bargain that might contain further cross-border brainpower imparting as a component of a joint border security technique.


In an Aug. 29 news gathering in Toronto, Non US Affairs Minister John Baird told journalists that the security privileges of Canadians remain top-of-psyche throughout exchanges about cross-border law implementation programs. “Our sovereignty cannot and will not be compromised”, that was his exact words.