The Harper Government is tough on crime. The Harper Government protects the Canadian border. Are you really trying to bring Washington apples into Vancouver? We're going to take you down. Hard!
That's the message sent by Border Security, a new ambush-style reality show on The National Geographic Channel.
But really - are Canada's border issues so dramatic to be worthy of a reality show?
CTV News notes:
Descriptions for 13 episodes of Border Security: Canada's Front Line on the National Geographic channel include "Officers wonder why a Korean tourist would bring his CV and school diplomas on a vacation," and "An injured American may be too ill to enter Canada."
Some episodes in the series have already aired and the National Geographic website promotes the program by saying: Border Security, the show that will make you think twice the next time you considering hiding anything in your luggage.
Joshua Labove, a PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University who specializes in border issues, said the reality show is incredibly exploitative.
"You're saying to someone 'Hello, I am here to legally remove you from the country but would you mind signing this release so I can show your face on Canadian television?"'
Labove said the program is particularly problematic because it creates complicated and blurry lines between entertainment, information and typical government works.
"All of this just serves to remind people that CBSA has a very large mandate and a very large mission away from the border," he said, adding that the fact that the show is modeled after an Australian program -- Border Security: Australia's Front Line -- is worrisome.
"Australia is a country that has had a long history of deportation and immigration raids and inland enforcement. I'm not necessarily sure that's the kind of society Canadians want."
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