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

Two Scout leaders found near Sooke

The pair went missing Sunday afternoon

UPDATED: Indigenous youth occupy B.C. Legislature steps amidst court injunction

Police negotiating with people gathered in support of some of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Crews respond to house fire in Langford Monday night

Fire near Glen Lake Road and Haslam Avenue

‘Not the monster everyone thinks’: Sister of human-trafficking suspect speaks out

Trish Kelly’s brother was one of four Vancouver Island residents arrested last month in Saskatchewan

Oak Bay ups deer management budget to $96,100 for 2020

Provincial grant approved for deer contraception program

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read