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.

Just Posted

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Join North Saanich invasives removal and experience three key benefits

Friends of North Saanich Parks says July 27 clear-up will be rewarding as well as green

Light up August with a lantern building workshop in Sidney

ArtSea workshops in preparation for Aug. 24 Salish Sea Lantern Festival

Colwood field lacrosse camp aims to get more kids involved

Victoria Field Youth Lacrosse hopes to inspire future athletes

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Most Read