Mr. Speaker, in 1996 Canada's customs officers seized almost $700 million worth of drugs, contraband, alcohol and tobacco, as well as more than 2,000 firearms.
Revenue Canada currently employs approximately 3,200 customs officers at border points and ports of entry across our vast country. These capable and competent public servants do everything from collecting duties, to enforcing health regulations, to investigating drug smuggling.
In our war against smuggling and all its adverse ramifications, Canada's customs officers represent very much the first line of defence. Working in co-operation with the RCMP and other domestic and international law enforcement agencies, the men and women of Revenue Canada's customs operation have contributed greatly to keeping our communities, our streets and our houses safe and secure.
I salute these dedicated workers across Canada and especially those in my riding who work at the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie. Congratulations, ladies and gentlemen, on a job very well done.