Citizenship and Immigration (May 2, 2012)
Researchers and members of the legal community were among the witnesses who testified as part of the committee’s review of Bill C-31, legislation to reform Canada’s refugee system.
Herbert G. Grubel from the Fraser Institute spoke in favour of the bill’s cost-cutting measures and about the burden of the current system on Canadian taxpayers. Janet Cleveland and Cécile Rousseau from McGill University’s Division of Social and Cultural Psychiatry discussed their studies on the mental health of refugees as a result of detention periods.
Rivka Augenfeld and Richard Goldman from the Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes raised numerous concerns with the legislation including its margin of error and urged MPs not to support the bill. Dan Bohbot from the Quebec Immigration Lawyers Association appeared via videoconference from Montreal to speak against the bill’s mandatory detention periods and expansion of executive powers.
UPDATE: Bill C-31 received royal assent on June 28.