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

North Cariboo MLA wishes provincial budget offered more support to forestry workers and small businesses

Coralee Oakes was happy to see more funding for Foundry programs, high school mental health supports

Voice for North Cariboo Seniors Feb. 20 guest speaker will speak about seniors’ care at hospital

The Quesnel-based group is also looking for volunteers to help move food products once a week

Quesnel athletes headed to B.C. Winter Games

Sixteen local athletes will compete in six different sports during the Games in Fort St. John

Rotary Club of Quesnel’s first Walk for Water coming up Feb. 21

Money raised will support the Baker Creek Enhancement Society and Roll-A-Hippo Foundation

Plans in full swing for the Richmond 2020 55+ BC Games

Participant registration will open March 1

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

Most Read