Permanent demotion too harsh for off-duty conduct: Board (Legal view)

Border guard drove while drunk, injured motorcyclist in hit-and-run accident
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/15/2010

An off-duty border guard who seriously injured a motorcyclist in a hit-and-run accident while driving drunk deserved to be disciplined, but a permanent demotion was too harsh, the Canadian Public Service Labour Relations Board has ruled.

Terry MacArthur worked as a border services officer in Fort Erie, Ont., at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). His job was to screen border crossings from the United States into Canada.

As with all border services officers, MacArthur had the powers of a peace officer, which meant he could be a “first responder” for certain violations of the Criminal Code, including impaired driving. Border services officers have the power to charge someone for impaired driving or order a breathalyzer test.