action alert: please email liberals about c-11 refugee bill

From the Canadian Council for Refugees:

Urgent action request - C-11

Yesterday the CCR met with a number of Members of Parliament in Ottawa about C-11, as well as appearing before the Standing Committee. We identified an urgent need to press the Liberal Party to take a strong position in favour of refugee rights. It appears that the Party will be discussing what position to take in the next couple of days: the two competing currents of opinion are 1) a rights-based position that rejects unacceptable aspects of the bill, and 2) a compromise position that seeks only a few minor amendments to Bill C-11.

We believe that it is important that the Liberal Party hear that many people are concerned about this bill and are looking to the Liberals to take a strong position.

Please send an email message, preferably TODAY (12 May) or TOMORROW (13 May) to the Leader of the Opposition, Michael Ignatieff, with copies to the Liberal members of the Standing Committee (Maurizio Bevilacqua, Denis Coderre, Jim Karygiannis).

Addresses are:

Suggested message:

Dear _____:

I am writing about Bill C-11, the refugee reform bill. I am deeply concerned that the bill has elements that may lead to refugees being denied the protection they need.

The bill is being pushed through committee at an extraordinarily fast pace, despite the importance and complexity of the issues, and the fact that there was no broad public consultation on the bill prior to tabling. Why the haste? Why is the Liberal Party not demanding that Parliament take the time necessary to study this bill carefully?

I am also concerned that we have yet to hear clearly from the Liberal Party that you will not compromise on refugee rights and that you will take a strong position that ensures that any bill passed fully conforms to Canada's international human rights obligations. In particular, I would like to be assured that the Liberals will not vote for a bill that accords different rights to refugee claimants based on country of origin.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely, etc.

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For more about Bill C-11 and why people concerned with justice are so upset, go here.

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