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UBC Theses and Dissertations

More lightning in the hand : a case study of the security vulnerabilities of the Osoyoos Port of Entry at the Canada-US Boundary Line McCroy, Amy J.


The purpose of my research was to find answers to the principal research question: “What are the security vulnerabilities of the Osoyoos port of entry, particularly in relation to human trafficking/smuggling and terrorist incursions?” My research sample included eight security experts, specifically, six participants and two collaborators from the local security community in the South Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. The methodology used in my research was a single case study with a two-step approach and an emphasis on qualitative inquiry. Data analysis involved ‘theoretical’ thematic analysis method using three theories. The historical overview provides a historical analysis of border security (and associated security practices and technologies), the Canada-US border, and the Osoyoos port of entry. It also discusses Canadian border security and the intervention of neo-liberalism, the ranking of transnational security threats, Canada’s strategic tradition, and the implications of the changing global threat environment for Canadian national security. Findings reveal that the main security vulnerabilities at the Canada-US border in the South Okanagan region are a robust criminal infrastructure and an under-resourced security community. The findings also reveal that there are many factors that inform and influence Canadian border security policy. Implications for national and public security include the development of high-quality local intelligence, vigilance in analyzing the spatial trends of crime and terror groups, “more predictable and cost-effective screening processes at ports of entry,” and realistic assessments of the resources necessary for a layered security strategy. Recommendations point to the development of high-quality intelligence products, the reinstatement of border resources, and greater specialization of border security personnel.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada