Citizenship and Immigration (May 7, 2012)
MPs heard from individuals including academics and representatives of the European Union as they continued their review of Bill C-31, the government’s refugee reform legislation.
Sharryn Aiken from Queen’s University’s Faculty of Law raised concerns about the bill’s anti-smuggling provisions and treatment of mass arrivals. Catherine Dauvergne, a law professor at the University of British Columbia, discussed issues arising from similar refugee legislation in Australia and urged MPs not to support the bill.
Karina Fortier and Kelsey Angeley from McGill University’s B Refuge student group raised concerns with the bill’s impact on refugee integration into Canadian society. Béatrice Vaugrante and Alex Neve from Amnesty International spoke against the bill’s discriminatory nature, mandatory detention measures, and designated safe country list.
Ambassador Matthias Brinkmann from the Delegation of the European Union to Canada discussed the union’s immigration policies and responded to questions about the number of Hungarian Roma applicants abandoning refugee claims in Canada. Senior representatives from the European Commission also appeared via videoconference from Brussels, Belgium, to discuss the EU’s collective refugee standards. Roland Brumberg and Anja Klabundt from the Federal Government of Germany appeared via videoconference from Berlin to discuss the structure of their national refugee system.
UPDATE: Bill C-31 received royal assent on June 28.