A family from Haiti approach a tent in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec, stationed by Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as they haul their luggage down Roxham Road in Champlain, N.Y., on August 7, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Charles Krupa)

Trudeau defends changes to asylum laws that have refugee workers alarmed

Bill would prevent people from seeking asylum in Canada if they already have in U.S.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending a changes to asylum laws included in an omnibus budget bill tabled this week, saying his government is working to ensure Canada’s refugee system is fair for everyone.

The changes would prevent asylum seekers from making refugee claims in Canada if they have made similar claims in certain other countries, including the United States — a move Border Security Minister Bill Blair says is aimed at preventing “asylum-shopping.”

Lawyers and advocates who work with refugees are sounding the alarm about the legal changes, saying they would strip human-rights protections from vulnerable asylum-seekers.

Trudeau says Canada has been seeing larger numbers of refugee claims because of global instability.

He says his priority is to ensure Canadians retain confidence in the country’s asylum system, which means every person who comes to Canada must do so according to the law.

More than 41,000 asylum seekers have crossed into Canada “irregularly” through unofficial paths along the Canada-U.S. border since early 2017.

READ MORE: Budget bill would tighten loophole that encourages irregular border crossings

READ MORE: Free app launches to help immigrants, refugees as they settle in B.C.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

VIDEO: Green Coast offers free kayaking to Haida Gwaii residents

First “pop-up paddle” held Monday, May 25; free community paddles expected to continue weekly

DFO allowing at-sea observers again if safe work procedures in place

May 15 fishery notice lays out conditions for allowing at-sea observers onboard amid COVID-19

Artist-biologist duo that contributed to conservation on Haida Gwaii wins award

Aleta Karstad, Dr. Fred Schueler win prize for conservation efforts, including Cumshewa Head area

CHN, province reach ‘milestone’ tree cutting agreement, reducing annual cut by 13%

Haida Gwaii Management Council has determined new allowable annual cut of 804,000 cubic metres

VIDEO: Bear catches ‘rascally rabbit’ for breakfast near Whistler bus stop

The brief encounter of the bear hunting its meal has gone viral

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

B.C. drive-in theatre shuts down to await appeal of car limits, concession rules

Business owner Jay Daulat voluntarily closed down the theatre awaiting a health ministry decision

Huawei executive loses court ruling, extradition case continues

Judge says allegations against Meng Wanzhou could constitute a crime in Canada

Cross-border business interests call for joint Canada, U.S. post-COVID effort

Expanding market opportunities in both countries would speed recovery efforts, says the Canadian American Business Council

Most Read