Citizenship and Immigration (April 30, 2012)
The committee continued its review of Bill C-31, the government’s refugee reform legislation.
Martin Collacott from the Centre for Immigration Policy Reform spoke about the outdated nature of the current refugee system and his support of the bill. Peter Showler from the University of Ottawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre raised concerns with various aspects of the bill and made recommendations to improve the legislation.
Immigration and refugee lawyer Julie Taub spoke about the persistent misuse of the system and encouraged MPs to support the bill. Nathalie Des Rosiers and Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, both from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, spoke against portions of the bill including mandatory detention periods and the expansion of executive powers.
Debbie Douglas and Francisco Rico-Martinez from the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants raised concerns that the bill could create a multi-tier immigration system and exacerbate any existing anti-refugee sentiment within the country. Toni Skarica from the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General discussed the prevalence of human trafficking into Canada and problems with current refugee screening practices.