Canadian border agents have been told to stop looking for illegal drugs being smuggled out of the country, instead, focusing on illicit nuclear materials and stolen cars leaving the country.
According to The Windsor Star, the order, which was issued in a memo to the Canada Border Service Agency was issued because of a lack of resources within the agency. The memo listed three categories agents were to focus on; illicit nuclear material and stolen vehicles, and enforcing other departments export bans, which includes smuggling of endangered species, hazardous waste and electronic waste. The memo goes on to say: "The success of the Export Program in all modes and all regions will be based on the performance of the regions to meet those priorities,"
It also explains the reasoning is due to "the limited number of resources available for export examinations, other commodities, including outbound smuggling of narcotics, unless there is an intelligence outlook, should not be undertaken."
The order is no doubt going to upset US officials, but with limited resources, the agency has no choice but to target those areas where they think they can make a difference. Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy founding member Eugene Oscapella told Canada.com "It takes enormous resources to catch smuggled drugs." "You're looking for a needle in a haystack, or probably something smaller than that. And maybe this is just a nod to reality that they're saying they can better
spend their resources elsewhere." "One of the criticisms of the United States was that we weren't doing enough to stop the flow the drugs into their country," "To the extent that people know where Canada is, this is not going to play well."
There has been no official response from the United States regarding the order.