Human Rights Watch to Canada: STOP Bill C-31

Human Rights Watch, a non-government organization that monitors human rights world wide, has published a letter sent to Canadian MPs regarding Bill C-31, also known as the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, because it violates the rights of refugees in Canada.

We’ve blogged about this before. If you’re unfamiliar with the threat this bill poses to human rights in Canada, check out these immigration blog posts.

Bill C-31 was originally introduced with provisions in it that were unfair to refugees. It didn’t pass until these provisions were removed, but now that the Conservative government has a majority they’ve put these provisions back in place.

These dangerous provisions include:

– Anyone arriving in Canada in a designated group (that the government determines, such as a large group of people arriving on a boat) can be locked up for a year – including men and women over the age of 16, people who are disabled and the elderly.

– The Charter of Rights and Freedoms grants anyone in Canada the right to be free from arbitrary detention – unless you’re in the aforementioned group. All other refugees get a review thin 48 hours to see if their detention is fair.

– Shorter timelines for review of certain cases means refugees won’t have time to adequately prepare.

– The government would create a safe countries list, and refugees from these countries could be deported without any kind of appeal or consideration for their specific situation.

The Bill C-31, with these provisions in place, violates Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canada’s obligations under international law.

The letter from Human Rights Watch reiterates this and can be found here.

You can also write your Member of Parliament (MP) and encourage them to fight Bill C-31. Find your MP using your postal code here.

Bill C-31 is set to take effect this summer.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

Tags: Bill C-31 Human Rights in Canada protecting Canada's immigration system act Refugee Bill Refugee Claims in Canada refugee detention safe countries list

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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