This month the Conservative government tabled new legislation that will address problems with Canada’s refugee system and further key reforms that were made in 2010.
“To be blunt, Canada’s refugee system is broken,” said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney upon announcing the new bill, the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act. “Too many tax dollars are spent on bogus refugees.”
The new bill will give authorities greater powers, including allowing for the collection of biometric data of temporary visa holders. As well, the government would limit the number of refugee claims from citizens of the European Union – most of which are rejected, withdrawn or abandoned.
One of the more controversial changes in the new laws would be granting the Immigration Minister the power to add specific countries to a “safe” list without having to defer to any sort of committee with expertise in human rights.
Critics are also expressing concern over the government’s intention to move so quickly, after already implementing previous refugee reforms in 2010 with Bill C-11.
“This minister didn’t even implement Bill C-11,” said Don Davies, immigration critic for the NDP. “How he can say the system doesn’t work when he didn’t give it a chance is beyond me.”
Minister Kenney, however, maintains that the new bill is needed and that these changes will save Canadian taxpayers over $1-billion over the next five years.
Source: Globe and Mail