Closing the Gates: Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and COVID-19

Published: Spring 2021    |    By:  Arne Kislenko   |    Volume 69, No.15


The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many nations to reconsider what borders mean, and precisely how they work in the interests of “national security”. Front and centre in that calculation for Canadians is the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA), in many respects this country’s “gate-keepers”. Often over-looked as part of Canada’s intelligence community, and frequently parochial in its orientation to international security issues, CBSA has been forced to confront unprecedented challenges in managing our frontiers. But the global crisis also provides the agency with an opportunity to redefine its place in government, and in the minds of Canadians who usually care little about borders or those who protect them
About the Author
Arne Kislenko is an Associate Professor with the Department of History at Ryerson University and an instructor in the International Relations programme at Trinity College, University of Toronto. He has won numerous teaching awards, including the prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship. He has written and edited several books and published numerous book chapters and articles on a wide range of topics in modern international relations history. He also serves as an editor for the prestigious journal Intelligence and National Security. Before academia Arne served for 12 years as a Senior Officer with Canada Immigration at Pearson Airport in Toronto, dealing with many high-profile cases. He has served as a consultant on national security matters for the federal government and as an historical advisor for TV/media programmes and various educational organizations.