OTTAWA — A Canada Border Services Agency director has ordered a professional standards investigation of an alleged "drunk fest" that involved agency brass and Chinese government officials.
"I have requested the assistance of the CBSA Professional Standards investigations team in order to be completely transparent on what transpired that evening," Goran Vragovic, regional director for the Greater Toronto Area CBSA, said in a statement.
QMI Agency has obtained copies of two formal complaints lodged against CBSA officers with the public sector integrity commissioner.
According to the documents, on Aug. 3 CBSA officers and Chinese government officials got together at a Mississauga, Ont., restaurant where some individuals became so inebriated they were unable to drive home and vomited in government vehicles.
"I can confirm that Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials did hold meetings with a Chinese delegation and did attend a dinner with the group on the evening of August 3, 2012," Vragovic said. "While we were not aware of any issues surrounding this event before today, the agency does take the allegations made in today's Toronto Sun article very seriously and I have taken immediate steps to determine the facts surrounding these allegations."
Edith Lachapelle, spokeswoman for the public sector integrity commissioner's office, explained she can't comment on any "ongoing or non-ongoing investigation," but said the usual process is to receive the complaint and then analyze whether it contains enough information to pursue a formal investigation.
"If that happens and we do find the report of wrongdoing is founded, then the commissioner must report it to Parliament," she said.
In the commission's more than five years of existence, it has found one case to have merit. Lachapelle estimated they receive roughly 200 complaints annually.
David Harris, a security analyst in Ottawa, said the alleged "drunk fest" represents an "unprecedented" event.
"China has one of the most aggressive intelligence penetration and infiltration programs in the world," he said. "This requires a very serious national security investigation to find out whether anything like this has happened before."