Immigration Minister Jason Kenney makes welcome changes to refugee bill
It’s rare and refreshing to see a member of Stephen Harper’s cabinet offer to amend a punitive piece of legislation.
“We have listened to parliamentarians on Bill C-31 (which overhauls Canada’s refugee system) and as a result we have a stronger bill,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told fellow MPs. “The government is open to reasonable suggestions.”
The changes he is proposing won’t satisfy refugee advocates, human rights activists or the opposition parties. But they would alleviate one of the harshest provisions of the legislation.
The original version of the bill, tabled in February, said asylum seekers who are part of “mass arrivals” would face mandatory detention for 12 months with no review. The amended version would require an initial review within 14 days, a second review six months later.
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