kenney on the war path; war resisters campaign mobilizing to fight him

In the throne speech earlier this month, the Conservatives alluded to an overhaul of Canada's refugee system (emphasis mine).
To remove the years of uncertainty often faced by refugees in genuine need, while closing off avenues for those simply seeking a back door into the country, our Government will propose comprehensive reforms to the refugee system.

Immigration and Refugee Minister Jason Kenney plans to introduce a bill calling for blocking refugee claims from so-called "safe" countries. The War Resisters Support Campaign has information that the bill will be tabled as early as this Tuesday, March 30.

This is obviously linked to Kenney's campaign against LGBT refugees, US war resisters, Mexican people fleeing from government-backed violence, and an array of other claimants whose plights Kenney deems unacceptable to his right-wing vision of Canada.

The Campaign is mobilizing all our resources and our many allies to organize and fight against this.

We will join forces with the LGBT community, the refugee-advocacy community and everyone else who rejects the idea of a two-tiered refugee system - everyone who believes in justice and wants Canada to reflect those beliefs.

We will be shifting into a new strategy immediately. If you're in Toronto, join us for an emergency meeting this Wednesday, March 31, where we will outline our plans and you can learn how to help.

WHERE: United Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street, east of Spadina, south of College

WHEN: Wednesday, March 31, 7:00 p.m.

WHY: Because we want Canada to be a refuge from militarism and a safe haven for people fleeing persecution anywhere in the world!

From the Globe and Mail:
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is warning that the type of refugee reforms the Conservative government has in mind need to be handled with an abundance of caution.

Antonio Guterres said streamlining refugee applicants according to their country of origin is a legitimate way to speed up the process, but authorities need to ensure this system takes into account that some countries generally assumed to be safe may actually be dangerous for some groups — especially women and homosexuals.

"There are certain areas where, even if you live in a ... political democracy, you have still a certain number of important grounds for a well-founded fear of persecution to be real," Mr. Guterres said.

The senior UN official, who was careful not to mention Canada by name, said countries adopting a two-tier triage for refugees need to make sure they don't block access for legitimate claimants. And they must couple the triage with a robust appeals system to make sure no one falls through the cracks.

Otherwise, they risk rejecting people who risk being subject to persecution such as genital mutilation, forced marriage or discrimination based on sexual orientation, Mr. Guterres said.

. . . "Asylum is not given to countries. Asylum is given to people," Mr. Guterres said. "And this must be in the centre of any asylum system."

Stay tuned. We will not sit by quietly while Jason Kenney guts Canada's refugee system.

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