Canadian Border Services Agency Departmental Plan

CBSA Departmental Plan

Plans at a glance

Over the coming year, the Canadian Border Services Agency Departmental Plan will remain committed to facilitating legitimate trade and travel, while protecting national security, public safety and economic prosperity. The Agency has a wide array of initiatives underway to fulfill its mandate, modernize its business and improve its programs and services. The highlights below provide an overview of the Canadian Border Services Agency Departmental Plan’s planned results for 2020 to 2021 as the agency continues to advance these initiatives.

Border management

Combating the opioid crisis: Strengthen controls to reduce the supply of illicit drugs by equipping high-risk ports of entry with fume hoods and detection equipment, as well as by constructing Designated Safe Sampling Areas in 3 international mail centers.

Addressing the threat of African swine fever: Maintain vigilance in preventing the importation of high-risk products from overseas and proceed with the deployment of specialized detector dogs, as well as a significant public awareness campaign.

Combatting gun and gang violence: Enhance detection technology capabilities through innovative new technologies, as well as increased intelligence analysis and targeting capacity.

Streamlining traveller processing: Continue the deployment of primary inspection kiosks (PIK) in remaining airport terminals and introduce PIK-enabled automated fingerprint verification.

Ensuring traveller compliance: Continue to implement measures to maintain and monitor border integrity with respect to the illegal cross-border movement of cannabis, while remaining vigilant in detecting signs of impaired driving at land ports of entry.

Streamlining commercial processing: Advance cargo preclearance by pursuing proofs of concept in the air courier stream and the rail mode, as well as postal modernization efforts and e-commerce processing solutions.

Ensuring trade compliance: Advance the Canadian Border Services Agency Departmental Plan Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) project through initial releases of functionality for external clients, as well as plans for a new Marine Container Examination Facility (MCEF) to be located in Burrard Inlet, British Columbia.

Enhancing processing for trusted travellers and traders: Expand the NEXUS modernization initiative in airports across the country, as well as continue to operate the Secure Corridor lane for low-risk highway traffic at the Ambassador Bridge port of entry.

Strengthening the agency’s workforce and infrastructure: Deliver over 300 new recruits to the frontline, continue the implementation of the National Outreach and Recruitment Strategy, advance the Gordie Howe International Bridge Project and the Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Project, and refine the agency’s Real Property Investment Strategy.

Advancing Reconciliation efforts: Continue implementing the agency’s Indigenous Framework and Strategy, and partnering with the Mohawks of Akwesasne First Nation to implement recommendations co-developed through the Design Thinking Initiative.

Border enforcement Maintaining immigration program integrity: Continue investigatory activities and ongoing work with federal partners to improve operational coordination with respect to the in-Canada refugee determination system and irregular migration.

Improving Canada’s immigration detention system: Support the continued use of Alternatives to Detention based on consistent, risk-based detention decisions, enabling the release into the community of individuals whose risk can be appropriately mitigated.

Ensuring removals of inadmissible persons: Continue prioritizing and strengthening efforts to remove foreign national criminals, failed refugee claimants and other inadmissible persons, while working with federal partners to achieve greater national coordination of removal activities.

Core responsibilities: Planned results and resources, and key risks

This section contains detailed information on the department’s planned results and resources for each of its core responsibilities. It also contains information on key risks related to achieving those results.

Border management ($1,563,726,537)


The Canadian Border Services Agency Departmental Plan assesses risk to identify threats, manages the free flow of admissible travellers and commercial goods into, through and out of Canada, and manages non-compliance. Planning highlights: In 2020 to 2021, the CBSA plans to achieve the following results under its core responsibility of border management:

The CBSA’s intelligence, threat and risk assessment activities support CBSA programs in the identification and interception of high-risk people, goods and conveyances that pose a threat to the security of Canadians

  • Admissible travellers are processed in an efficient manner
  • Travellers and their goods are compliant with applicable legislation
  • Admissible commercial goods and conveyances are processed (including the collection of revenues) in an efficient manner
  • Trade partners are compliant with applicable legislation, requirements and measures
  • Trusted Traveller and Trader programs increase processing efficiency of low-risk, pre-approved travellers and trade partners
  • Travellers and the business community have access to timely redress mechanisms
  • The CBSA continues to invest in its people and infrastructure


In 2020 to 2021, the CBSA will pursue solutions involving innovation and experimentation in the following areas:

  • Secure corridor
  • Chain of trust
  • Mobile applications
  • Innovative training practices
  • Specialized Border Interdiction Unit
  • Border enforcement ($308,579,911)


The CBSA contributes to Canada’s security by supporting the immigration and refugee system when determining a person’s admissibility to Canada, taking the appropriate immigration enforcement actions when necessary, and supporting the prosecution of persons who violate our laws.

Planning highlights

In 2020 to 2021, the Canadian Border Services Agency Departmental Plan will continue to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and integrity of its activities throughout the immigration enforcement continuum. This will involve a multi-year review and modernization of policies and regulations related to immigration enforcement and inadmissibility, including:

  • modernizing the recovery of removal costs framework
  • streamlining inadmissibility decision-making with respect to organized criminality, transborder criminal inadmissibility and other grounds
  • addressing recommendations of the Standing Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of Regulations with respect to deposits and guarantees

In addition, the Canadian Border Services Agency Departmental Plan plans to achieve the following results under its core responsibility of border enforcement:

  • Immigration investigations identify persons inadmissible to Canada
  • CBSA detention decisions are risk-based and detention is used as a measure of last resort
  • CBSA admissibility recommendations and appeals are upheld at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
  • Inadmissible persons subject to removal depart from Canada (that is, escorted or unescorted)
  • People and businesses that are referred to Crown counsel for prosecution are convicted
  • Internal Services ($334,961,387)
  • Support a high-performing and innovative workforce
  • Advance modernization efforts

The Agency continues to examine all aspects of its business to identify options for improving organizational health and sustainability. In 2020 to 2021, the agency will be working in a results-based organizational structure aligned with its Departmental Results Framework to support greater accountability and strategic decision-making in program management and resource allocation. From the perspectives of business, information and IT, sound Enterprise Architecture practices will support these modernization efforts and provide a better understanding of related impacts.

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