Union ‘insulted’ at U.S. allegations Canadian border agents behind bomb threat
TORONTO — Allegations that disgruntled Canadian border agents may have been behind a bogus bomb threat that forced Canadian and U.S. authorities to close the Ambassador Bridge for several hours are “baseless,” leaders of the union representing the agents said Tuesday.
The bomb threat, the second in recent days, was called in around 7:20 p.m. Monday to authorities on the U.S. side of the bridge that links Detroit with Windsor.
In a news release issued shortly after the incident, the Detroit International Bridge Company, which owns the Ambassador Bridge, said it suspected the bogus threat had “something to do” with announced job cuts at Canada Border Services Agency.
“We cannot confirm, but suspect, that this has something to do with Canada’s disinvestment at the border by cutting back on customs’ agents,” read the statement.
Jason McMichael, vice-president of the Customs and Immigration Union, said he was outraged at the suggestion.
“Certainly they were completely baseless, completely without merit and the members that I represent who work for the Canada Border Services Agency all across the country were insulted by them,” he said from Ottawa.
Canada Border Services Agency announced cuts of approximately 1,300 jobs across Canada in April, including about 300 jobs in the Southern Ontario.
McMichael said that the job cuts had just started rolling out and would effect CSBA employees in a wide range of positions.
Last week, a similar threat was phoned in to authorities in Windsor, Ont., that triggered a four-hour closure of the Detroit Windsor Tunnel, a busy border crossing beneath the Detroit River connecting the two border cities. No explosives were found.
U.S. authorities say the call Monday came in from somewhere in Detroit. They say the bomb threat last week was made from a pay phone in Windsor.