Citizenship and Immigration (May 1, 2012)
The committee continued its review of Bill C-31, the government’s refugee reform legislation, with testimony from members of the legal community and various advocacy groups.
Policy analyst and attorney Richard Kurland spoke about finding a middle ground protecting the persecuted without abusing Canadian refugee laws. Tamra L. Thomson and Peter Edelmann, two representatives from the Canadian Bar Association, raised concerns about the broad scope of the bill and in particular the further expansion of executive powers.
Derek Fildebrandt from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation urged committee members to support the bill based on its cost-cutting measures. Ezat Mossallanejad from the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture spoke about his concerns with the bill’s reduction of appeal options and pre-removal risk assessment practices.
Nicolas Plourde and Mitchell Goldberg, two lawyers from the Barreau du Québec, raised numerous concerns with the legislation including its detention measures, and urged MPs not to support the bill.
UPDATE: Bill C-31 received royal assent on June 28.