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Republicans talked about the Canadian border. They skipped all sorts of details



A group of Republican lawmakers left out all sorts of details earlier this week when they held a news conference in Washington to sound the alarm about a surge in migration from Canada.

They put some big numbers on a poster and included those same bulging figures on a handout distributed to journalists.

They noted, correctly, that irregular border-crossings from Canada are up.

Here’s what went unsaid: The sum they were touting was a kitchen-sink statistical catch-all, a throw-everything-in-there mish-mash of federal data.


Meaning that the number of irregular crossings is so small, representing such a minuscule fraction of the total they touted, it’s the equivalent to a statistical blip.

Lawmakers speak at podium outside U.S. Capitol.
Republican lawmakers, including Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke, centre, held a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday to warn about a surge in migration from Canada. (Alexander Panetta/CBC)

The issue involves what the U.S. Department of Homeland Security calls “encounters” — and it covers a vast array of incidents at the U.S. border.

Such incidents range from the innocuous to the serious: from someone forgetting their passport or lacking proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, to missing a work visa, to being refused entry over a criminal record, to someone trying to sneak across.

Those figures, then, can frustrate migration-policy analysts. They argue the catch-all number winds up being used to confuse people more than enlighten them.

“The numbers require explanation and contextualization,” said Kathleen Bush-Joseph, of the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute. “Looking at encounter statistics, it requires getting into the details.”

The Republicans did not, by any means, sweat the details.

Take the fact sheet they handed out: It cited a 1,498 per cent increase in land-border encounters since U.S. President Joe Biden took office. Never mind that, in January 2021, land travel was severely restricted under pandemic rules.

The grand total: 2.7 per cent

So what are the numbers at the U.S.’s northern border?

The data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) show about 165,000 encounters along the northern U.S. border since the start of 2022.

That’s the stat Republican lawmakers showed.

Then if you filter that data for people being stopped between official ports of entry, here’s what you’ll find: 2.7 per cent.

Ninety-seven per cent are people stopped at normal border crossings by CBP’s Office of Field Operations.

To their credit, the Republicans listed the more precise, smaller numbers in a letter last week to the U.S. Homeland Security secretary, demanding details of his plan for the northern border.

The detailed data shows about 4,500 people being stopped from migrating into the U.S. from Canada, between normal checkpoints, since the start of the 2022 fiscal year.

Which, as the Republicans correctly identified, is an increase: If the current rate held, the 2023 number could end up being triple the number last year’s, according to U.S. data.

Yet even that comes with an asterisk.

Ignoring the pandemic effect

The chart on the Republican poster starts in 2020, so it doesn’t show the pre-pandemic level in fiscal year 2019.

Using that year as a baseline instead, there’s a less dramatic trend: a 35 per cent bump over 2019, not the 300 per cent when compared to last year.

Digging down even deeper, some of that 35 per cent is due to pandemic rules: Back in 2019, travellers weren’t being turned back at the U.S. border for lacking vaccine papers.

A sheet showing numbers, such as a 1,498% increase in border encounters since January 2021.
Republicans released this fact sheet showing eye-popping migration trends from Canada. It omits details. It conflates routine incidents with serious ones. It compares current land-border trends with January 2021, when there were severe travel restrictions linked to the pandemic. (Alexander Panetta/CBC)

Some Republican lawmakers demanded more personnel at the Canadian border, saying they wanted more agents hired in their districts.

They decried the staffing disparity: the Mexican border has about 20 times the total number of U.S. border patrol agents as the northern border.

That is consistent with migration enforcement stats.

Comparison with Mexican border: there is none

The southern border with Mexico, since the start of the 2022 fiscal year, has produced about 20 times more encounters than the northern border with Canada.

But the disparity in migration runs even deeper than the fact that the Mexican border has seen 3.25 million of those so-called encounters, to Canada’s 165,000.

The differences in the detailed data are more pronounced.

Again, a minute percentage of so-called encounters recorded at the Canadian border occurred between border checkpoints, 2.7 per cent.

It’s the opposite along Mexico’s border, where 91 per cent of so-called encounters involved Border Patrol agents, who enforce between checkpoints.



Republicans take aim at human trafficking across Canada-U.S. border


A group of U.S. Republicans are banding together to call attention to what they say is a surge in human trafficking from Canada into the U.S., forming what they’re calling a Northern Border Security Caucus.

Despite all these differences, another U.S. immigration expert said the recent trend with Canada is worth paying attention to.

For starters, she said, there’s the question of migrant safety. It’s undeniable that more are crossing, even in the harsh winter months. A family of four from India, for example, froze to death trying to cross from Canada last year.

“Due to the danger of winter crossings, [it’s] still a concern,” said Theresa Brown, an immigration analyst at the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center.

The trend also raises questions for U.S. policymakers, she said.

One involves the potential impact on already-strained U.S. immigration systems, with the courts that process such claims facing mounting backlogs and years-long delays.

Analyst: Still worth examining this trend

Brown further said this recent trendline at the Canadian border could indicate an emerging pattern in migration: people using Canada to get to the U.S.

For example, Mexican citizens don’t need a visa to travel to Canada; they do need one for the U.S. And more than 2,100 Mexicans have been stopped by U.S. Border Patrol between regular northern border checkpoints since the start of 2022.

American officials, Brown said, will want to know what’s driving this – whether it’s new enforcement at the southern border or other phenomena.

The bottom line on this issue?

The increase is real. The numbers are tiny. And politicians, sometimes, cherry-pick from that great big tree of data.



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World Down Syndrome Day in Canada – CTV News



The Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) is sharing a new awareness campaign featuring photos of older people with Down syndrome.

The ‘Here I Am’ photo gallery was launched today, to mark World Down Syndrome Day, and showcases portraits of older Canadians living with the condition.

“People age 40 and over are hugely underrepresented in all aspects of media, social media pictures, they’re just not visible,” Laura Lachance, executive director of CDSS told CTV’s Your Morning on Tuesday. “So we embarked on this campaign to bring these faces to the front.”


According to the organization, the life expectancy of Canadians with Down syndrome has doubled in the past 40 years, from 25 years in 1983, to more than 60 years in 2023.

“What’s changed is advances in medical technology, both in diagnostics and in treatment,” Lachance said. “So a lot of children who used to die in their early years are now surviving, taking advantage of all the interventions and living a long healthy life.”

Although many are living into adult life, Lachance said the challenge of finding caregivers who understand Down syndrome remains.

“As more of the Boomer parents are living longer, there’s going to have to be some kind of initiative by employers to perhaps take a look at how they can support their employees who need to take time away from work or work differently in order to care for their loved one,” Lachance said.

The photo gallery features only people over the age of 40 who are living with Down syndrome. The portraits were captured by Hilary Gauld from One for the Wall and CDSS.


Hear the full interview with Lachance by clicking the video at the top of this article. 

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Russia summons Canadian diplomat to protest 'regime change' statement – CBC News




Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday it had protested to Canada’s top diplomat in Moscow over comments by Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly about “regime change” in Russia.

Russia called Joly’s comments a ‘Russophobic attack’

A white woman sits at a table and prepares to speak at a government hearing.
Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly, seen on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 9, 2023, has been criticized by the Russian government for comments about ‘regime change.’ (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday it had protested to Canada’s top diplomat in Moscow over comments by  Foreign Minister Melanie Joly about “regime change” in Russia.


The ministry said it summoned Canadian charge d’affaires Brian Ebel on Monday and told him Joly’s comments were unacceptable.

Canadian media quoted Joly as saying at a news conference on March 10: “We’re able to see how much we’re isolating the Russian regime right now — because we need to do so economically, politically and diplomatically — and what are the impacts also on society and how much we’re seeing potential regime change in Russia.”

The Russian statement condemned the “Russophobic attack” and said it would have serious consequences for relations. Russia reserved the right to take “appropriate counter-measures” depending on Ottawa’s further steps.

Canada, a member of NATO and the Group of Seven (G7) leading economies, has joined its Western allies in imposing sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

On Friday, it welcomed the International Criminal Court’s move to issue arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his children’s commissioner over the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia since the start of the war.

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Worst city in Canada for bed bugs revealed | CTV News – CTV News Toronto



A Canadian city has just been named the worst in the country for bed bugs for the third year in a row. 

Orkin Canada, a pest and wildlife control services organization, revealed in a release Tuesday that Toronto was the city in which it carried out the highest number of commercial and bed bug treatments in 2022.

Following Toronto in second is Vancouver, B.C. then Sudbury, Ont. in third.


London, Ont., which went unranked in 2021, is new to the list this year, clinching the eighth spot in the top 10 “buggiest” cities in the country in 2022

Ontario dominated the top 10 list with a total of eight cities across the province being ridden with bed bugs, including Oshawa, Ottawa, Scarborough, Sault Ste. Marie, London, and Hamilton.

“Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, but are excellent at hiding. Involving a trained professional to identify bed bugs that have been introduced or are in the early stages of an infestation is recommended,” Dr. Alice Sinia, a Ph.D. Entomologist at Orkin Canada, said in the release.

“Bed bugs are extremely resilient, making them difficult to control. As people begin to ramp up their travel plans this year, it’s important they know how to protect themselves through pest identification and proper control.”

Sinia explains bed bugs can hide in taxis, buses, trains, and airplanes, so travellers should regularly check their clothes and luggage for any unwanted passengers.

To avoid a bed bug infestation while travelling, Orkin recommends the SLEEP method – survey your hotel room for any bed bug symptoms, lift and search typical bed bug hiding spots like mattresses and underneath cushions, elevate your luggage, examine your personal items, and place your clothing in the drier for up to 45 minutes on the highest setting.

At home, Orkin recommends decluttering your space, and thoroughly inspecting second-hand furniture for dark ink-like blot marks or whitish egg clusters.

These are Canada’s 25 “bed buggiest” cities, in order:

  1. Toronto, Ont.
  2. Vancouver, B.C.
  3. Sudbury, Ont.
  4. Oshawa, Ont.
  5. Ottawa, Ont.
  6. Scarborough, Ont.
  7. Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
  8. London, Ont.
  9. St. John’s, N.L.
  10. Hamilton, Ont.
  11. Winnipeg, Man.
  12. Montreal, Que.
  13. Windsor, Ont.
  14. Edmonton, Alta.
  15. Timmins, Ont.
  16. Moncton, N.B.
  17. North York, Ont.
  18. Etobicoke, Ont.
  19. Calgary, Alta.
  20. Mississauga, Ont.
  21. Whitby, Ont.
  22. Prince George, B.C.
  23. Regina, Sask.
  24. Brampton, Ont.
  25. Halifax, N.S.

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