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

Ninja groups could be setting children up for identity theft, online safety expert says

‘When I started seeing entry codes into secure buildings, I’m thinking oh my God, what are we doing?’

Federal government tenders remediation of Sidney’s Reay Creek pond

With tendering deadline of June 12, Transport Canada admits project is behind schedule

Close call has North Saanich councillor appealing for traffic safety

Coun. Jack McClintock is using an incident involving his daughter to highlight traffic safety

Saanich Peninsula steps into post-pandemic phase

Pending partial re-opening of local schools signals new start

Craft vendors allowed to re-join Goldstream Farmers Market

Dr. Bonnie Henry lightens restrictions, approves non-food items to be sold

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read