Despite widespread opposition from Canadians and concerns from the legal community about its constitutionality, Conservatives rammed their deeply flawed immigration bill, C-24, through the House of Commons today.
“This bill is facing an imminent challenge in court over its blatant disregard for the Constitution,” said Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe (Pierrefonds-Dollard), NDP critic for Citizenship and Immigration. “Yet the Conservatives ignored all the expert testimony and refused to accept any amendments.”
The Canadian Bar Association, UNICEF, the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, Amnesty International, the Canadian Council for Refugees, the Constitutional Rights Centre, and many academics, have all raised concerns that the bill does not comply with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms or with international treaties.
“The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has chosen to make blatant attacks on the integrity of these respected groups instead of acknowledging the validity of their questions. Time and again we see Conservatives like Chris Alexander blindly attacking anyone who disagrees with them,” added Andrew Cash (Davenport), NDP Deputy Critic for Citizenship and Immigration. “Now, instead of a law that strengthens Canadian citizenship, we will have another flawed government bill being dragged through years of costly court challenges.”
The bill now heads to the Conservative-dominated Senate for final approval.