VANCOUVER, B.C. – A port workers union claims the Canadian government’s new security regulations that require employees to undergo extensive background checks are unconstitutional.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Ship and Dock Foreman, Local 514 claims in B.C. Supreme Court that members’ rights are threatened by the intrusive requirements, such as being photographed and fingerprinted. Members applying for security clearance also must submit to criminal record checks and allow officials to contact governments of countries where they have lived or traveled. Some of these requirements are “unconstitutionally vague and overbroad,” the complaint states. The union claims that current security measures work fine and that it is “unaware of any identified gap or demonstrated security risk in existence that would justify the type of highly intrusive measures required” by the new clearance process. They want the program suspended while the constitutional question is on the table. They are represented by Charles Gordon and Gina Fiorillo. See complaint.