Dogs lose jobs due to budget cuts

Bailey, a Canada Border Services Agency worker, spent her last day on the job Friday in Vancouver. Bailey is a seven-year-old chocolate lab. Both Bailey and her canine coworker Brodie were laid off due to most recent federal budget. They are among a suggested 19 dog teams to be impacted across Canada by the cuts.

Bailey and Brodie’s coworkers didn’t let their friends lose their jobs without a fight though. More than 95 percent of their colleagues signed a petition trying to save their jobs. Their coworkers even offered to cover the cost of Bailey and Brodie, an estimated $440 per month for each. The officers petition stated, “Please respectfully accept this email as our endeavor to save our beloved and necessary K9s Bailey and Brodie. The following officers donate one overtime shift worked or an extra statutory holiday.” The  officers went on to ask for the Canada Border Services Agency to work with them to find a way to keep the K9 unit.

Unfortunately the petition didn’t work and Bailey and Brodie are no longer with the agency as of Friday. Bailey’s handler Rob Freer will be taking Bailey home with him since she is too old to find a new job. He believes the agency is making a huge mistake by getting rid of their K9 unit. Dogs are more reliable than the machines that will be used now to do their job. Freer pointed to a recent example where an ion scanner failed five times to alert officers to drugs that a dog found on their first attempt.

In addition the K9 units help facilitate commerce in the area. When shipping containers come into the docks in Vancouver the K9 team can quickly and efficiently. When the K9 unit has been unavailable to do this within a few hours of the shipping containers arrival, the load is sent to a warehouse to be inspected manually.  This costs the importer an extra $1500 to $2000 and adds extra days onto the process. “You’re talking almost a quarter-of-a-million a month in what you’re saving real Canadian businesses” Freer stated.

The CBSA is expected to save around $2.2 million a year with these cuts. Even so Freer and many of his coworkers think the agency is making a huge mistake letting Bailey and Brodie go. Freer is also concerned that these cuts are just the beginning of a complete phasing out of the CBSA dog detector program, which was once one of the top 10 programs in the world.

 







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6 comments

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    September 30, 2012 11:52 amPosted 1 year ago
    sherrysue

    This is an absolute shame that this is happening; when will the Government realize that dogs at border crossings can save a lot of man hours in the end??Why is our Government always taking a step backwards??? Kudos to Bailey and Brodie for jobs well done. Hopefully the Government will see the error of their ways and reinstate the canine program (the only smart thing to do). Another fine example of dogs being way more intelligent than certain people.

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    September 30, 2012 6:03 pmPosted 1 year ago
    linda

    That is a really a shame! Dogs are more reliable than machines, and look lots better too! I am glad the dog is getting a good forever home!

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    October 1, 2012 1:26 amPosted 1 year ago
    001mum

    geeeeeeeeze this is nuts.
    just hope these pups can still keep busy (they need that work)
    hope (and bet) the teams will be re-instated within a few months

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    October 1, 2012 1:14 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Monica

    Saving them 2.2 million dollars a year? Geezz…what are they feeding them? Gold bars? And veterinary costs included in the 2.2 million? Wow, seems alittle unreal, but I’m sure they know what they’re talking about – wait…they’re getting rid of dogs to be replaced with machines.

    Nope. They don’t know what they are talking about. Good luck to Bailey & Brodie on their retirment, they certainly deserve it.

    The agency will discover what a mistake this was.

    2.2 million, really?

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    October 1, 2012 1:15 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Monica

    Ok, I stand corrected, it is 19 dogs being laid off.

    Still…what a sad shame…

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    October 7, 2012 8:07 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Bruce

    Don’t worry people, I hear that Brodie and Bailey will now be in charge of the F-35 fighter jet program, they will do a better job than the paper pushers in Ottawa (but they may have added costs of Jerky treats to the billion dollar program).

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