May 1, 2013

Deportation is not entertainment

Coalition of Organizations Release Letter
Regarding Border Security TV Show


Minister Vic Toews, Ministry of Public Safety, Government of Canada
Luc Portelance, President, Canadian Border Services Agency
Rob Bromley, President, Force Four Entertainment
John Ritchie, Partner and Executive Producer, Force Four Entertainment
Gillian Lowrey, Partner and Director of Business Affairs, Force Four Entertainment
Paul Robertson, President, Shaw Media
Peter Bissonnette, President, Shaw Media
Zoran Stakic, Privacy Officer, Shaw Media
Andrew Eddy Vice President, Shaw Media Content Distribution
Michael French Vice President, Shaw Media Finance
Barb Williams Senior Vice President, Shaw Media Content
Deb Avis, Senior Vice President, Shaw Media Social Responsibility
JR Shaw, Executive Chair, Shaw Media
Jim Shaw, Vice Chair, Shaw Media
Bradley Shaw, Chief Executive Officer, Shaw Media​

We are a group of community-based and national organizations who would like to voice our collective concern about Border Security: Canada’s Front Line.

We are deeply concerned about the traumatic and potentially dangerous consequences upon all those who find themselves being filmed for Border Security. In Border Security a highly one-sided narrative is told about those crossing the border under varying circumstances or those people in the process of migration, which has the particular long-term impact of spreading fear about and among immigrant and migrant communities. At best, this TV show is an invasion of privacy with questionable ethics on informed consent; at worst, it can put the lives of vulnerable migrants at risk by commercially exploiting their stories for broadcast. No one deserves to face the trauma of being forcibly separated from their families and then having this suffering turned into entertainment. We also find it extremely troubling that the federal government has approved and is involved in this production.

Deportation is not entertainment. We urge you to cancel, stop participating in, and end the broadcast of Border Security. More than 23,000 people have signed a petition calling for an end to this TV show. They are joined by prominent cultural producers, human rights groups, and legal organizations. We hope you will take this opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to upholding human rights, legal obligations, and ethical media production by cancelling Border Security.


Agriculture Workers Alliance Support Centre-Surrey
Alberta Public Interest Research Group
Alliance for People’s Health
Amnesty International
Antidote: Multiracial and Indigenous Girls and Women's Network
Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity Society
Babae Montreal
Battered Women’s Support Services
BC Civil Liberties Association
B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union
Café Rebelde
Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers
Canadian Council for Refugees
Canadian Labour Congress
Check Your Head
Chinese Canadian National Council
Coalition of South Asian Women Against Violence
Connective Project for Colombia
Council of Canadians
Defenders of the Land
Dignidad Migrante
Downtown Eastside Women’s Center
Fraser Valley Peace Council
Friends of Women in the Middle East Society
Global Queer Research Group-University of British Columbia
Hamiltonians for Migrant and Refugee Health
Health for All
Idle No More
Immigrant Workers Center
Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign
International Iranian Federation of Refugees
Justice for Migrant Workers
Latinos in Action
Law Union of Ontario
Lead Now
Migrante BC
Mining Justice Alliance
Native Youth Movement
No One Is Illegal-Toronto
No One Is Illegal-Vancouver Unceded Coast Salish Territories
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Out On Campus-Simon Fraser University
People's Commission Network
People Against Settler Colonialism-University of British Columbia
Pivot Legal Society
Progressive Nepali Forum in Americas
Purple Thistle Center
Quebec Public Interest Research Group-McGill University
Queer Migration Collective
Raices Latin American Cultural Society
Rising Tide-Vancouver Coast Salish Territories
Regina Public Interest Research Group
Salaam Canada
Sanctuary Health
Shit Harper Did
Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group
Simon Fraser University Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Social Housing Coalition BC
South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy
Streams of Justice
Teaching Support Staff Union
The Feminist Wire
The Mainlander
Toronto Action for Social Change
Trikone Vancouver
Truthfool Communications
University of British Columbia Colour Connected Against Racism
University of British Columbia Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice
University of British Columbia Race Autobiography Gender and Age Graduate Student Network
Unis’to’ten Camp
Vancouver Status of Women
Welcome Home Refugee Housing Community
West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund

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