Despite Strong, Reasonable Opposition, Government Proceeds with Anti-Refugee Bill
TORONTO February 16, 2012 - This morning, the government introduced Bill C-31, the new "Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act," that could penalize, detain and endanger people who come to Canada seeking asylum. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is very concerned about this Bill which, if passed and implemented, would violate several of Canada's constitutional and international obligations. Of greater concern are the effects of this Bill on people who came to Canada in need of protection and safety.
The Bill's provisions include a mandatory, automatic detention for "designated" groups of refugees; a stripping away of basic constitutional freedoms and human rights; separation of refugees from their children; and a lack of fair process in this critical decision.
Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Director of CCLA's Equality Program said "Bill C-31 represents a dramatic departure from the ethos and reputation of Canada as a compassionate, humanitarian voice on the world stage. It strips away basic rights and protections from people who may have escaped torture, death or persecution, and it denies a fair process to people for whom this may be, literally, a life or death decision."
It is critical that this Bill be brought to the attention of people in Canada - and that it be defeated.
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