FILE – Horses race at Hastings Racecourse in 2018. (Facebook)

Workers escorted away in border services’ raid at Vancouver horse-racing track

Several people employed and supervised by various owners and trainers were escorted off the track

Several people were removed form a Vancouver horse racing track this week as part of an investigation by the Canada Border Services Agency.

Border services agents arrived at the park, owned by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, at about 6 a.m. Monday, said a news release from the Hastings Racecourse.

A number of people employed and supervised by various horse owners and trainers were escorted off the site, and none of those who were removed is affiliated with or employed by Great Canadian, the release said.

David Milburn, president of the Horseman’s Benevolent and Protective Association of B.C., said a well-organized group of people wearing black jackets descended on the racetrack and handcuffed people. The group included officers with border services and the B.C. Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch, Milburn said.

“They appear to be knowing who they were going for, so they weren’t just walking up and questioning people,” he said.

“They had their targets … and they went about putting their targets in handcuffs. It was a roundup.”

A statement from the border services agency said it was conducting investigations at the track related to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

The Canadian Border Services Agency says it conducts enforcement actions when it is believed that a contravention of the Customs Act or the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act has occurred.

The statement says it would be inappropriate to provide further information while the investigation is underway. It didn’t say if the people remain in custody.

Milburn said the arrests took place on a busy training day and they were disruptive.

“It was the type of roundup or raid that was reminiscent of something out of ICE that you see in the (United) States, not here,” he said.

Those arrested were the “foreign-worker variety of individuals,” he said, adding they didn’t arrest any of the regulars who had worked there for years.

Trainers can’t hire unlicenced help, let alone people not allowed to work in Canada, he said.

“If someone has done something illegal, we are opposed. But the members rely on Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch for the licencing, so trainers have done nothing wrong,” Milburn said.

The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Burns Lake council defers decision on sidewalks

New sidewalks would delay paving of two avenues

Burns Lake gun owners oppose proposed rifle ban

‘It will only punish law-abiding Canadians’

51 health professionals send letter to Trudeau, Horgan panning Coastal GasLink

They point to studies about the health and climate change risks from pipeline

14 arrested at blocked rail line in northern B.C., police say

But a Gitxsan hereditary chief says 14 were arrested, as fight over natural gas pipeline continues

Pacific Atlantic Pipeline holds supply chain meeting in Burns Lake

Pacific Atlantic Pipeline Construction (PAPC) held a supply chain meeting Feb. 19… Continue reading

VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

B.C. city rebrands with new logo, cheeky slogan

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Most Read