Mr. Speaker, as hon. members are aware, our government departments are required to conduct strategic reviews every five years.
Last April, as part of its strategic review, the CBSA consolidated its southern Ontario regional operations. As a result of merging two regions, only one regional headquarters was required in order to optimize administrative operations and create better efficiencies.
When the two regional offices amalgamated, the CBSA was able to focus its resourcing priorities to continue to ensure an efficient, safe and secure border. It is important to understand that there were no closures or port of entry changes as a result of merging these two regions.
The only significant change was that the administration for the regional headquarters was centralized in one location. This was not a decision that was taken lightly, and all of the factors were considered. These factors included: impacts to staff, stakeholder consultations, cost effectiveness, infrastructure commitments and trade and traveller volumes. In the end, the top deciding factors were impacts to staff and the cost effectiveness for Canadian taxpayers.
It has been almost six months since the CBSA consolidated its regional headquarters into one location. I can say that the CBSA continues to serve Canadians by protecting the border with professionalism and integrity. No services have been affected and there have been no interruptions at the border.
While regional reporting structures have changed, the day-to-day work conducted by border service officers has not changed. The CBSA is committed to ensuring that these front-line operations continue to run smoothly.
The hon. members in this House should be aware that there have been many inaccurate reports about this administrative change and I would like to set the record straight.
First, and most important, no front-line positions were affected by this office relocation. Second, only a small number of positions were actually affected and, in the end, no jobs were lost as a result. Third, the CBSA will save $1.5 million per year by merging these administrative, human resources and information technology capacities.
CBSA will continue to ensure the security of the Canadian border in an efficient, cost-effective manner, as is expected by the Canadian taxpayer.