2.16.2012

jason kenney is at it again again: each refugee claim must be decided individually, not by country of origin

The Harperites have resurrected the unjust, immoral, and, according to international treaties to which Canada is a signatory, illegal bill formerly known as C-11.

Jason Kenney doesn't want so much riff-raff allowed into Canada. So first he let positions on the Immigration and Refugee Board go vacant, so there weren't enough decision-makers to hear cases, thereby creating a backlog. Then he uses the backlog to say there are too many claimants.

The IRB is under political pressure to reject certain types of cases. Kenney then uses those rejections to "prove" that claimants from certain countries are "bogus" refugees and no review of their claims is needed.

When the minority Conservative government tried to rush this bill into law without debate in 2010, the NDP fought back, and after enough pressure was applied, the Liberals grew a (temporary) spine.* Amendments were added protecting the most vulnerable refugee claimants. Now the Harper GovernmentTM wants to use its majority power to get their anti-refugee, anti-human wish list into law.

Rather than re-write what I've already written, I will quote myself, and more importantly, Amnesty International, the Canadian Council for Refugees, Refugee Lawyers Association, and former immigration ministers, from the earlier fight in 2010. I hope you'll go and at least skim some of these links.

Amnesty: amnesty: flaws in refugee bill put lives at risk

Canadian Council for Refugees: Canadian Council for Refugees statement on bill from 2010

Elinor Caplan (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, 1999-2002) and Flora MacDonald (Minister of Employment and Immigration 1984-1986): "human rights are on the line": two former immigration ministers decry rush to pass c-11

stephen harper dismantles canada's refugee system





* Not really. Liberal Immigration critic Maurizio Bevilacqua, allegedly promised a Conservative endorsement of his forthcoming campaign in the city of Vaughn, did the Tories' work for them, playing sock-puppet for Jason Kenney. By all reports, then- Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff was ready to side with Bevilacqua, until a revolt from his own caucus forced his hand.

2 comments:

boyd reimer said...

What Kenney is doing now is a betrayal of the negotiated softening of his stance in 2010.

It just shows that now that he has his so-called "majority" (39.62%) gov't., then he will go more hardline on everything he did previously.

Going "more hardline" will mean decreeing that no war resisters can claim refugee status in Canada if they are from one of his list of "good" countries...ie the US.

We must work together to make sure that the Conservatives do not rule for eight years. To me, this means co-operation among all the non-Conservative parties in the next election.

laura k said...

Thanks for your comment, Boyd.

I'm being bombarded by calls for cooperation. I'm not buying it myself. I'll keep an open mind, but right now I don't see why we should cooperate with the Liberals on anything.