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May 28th, 2014

NDP calls for changes to Bill C-24

Bill C-24, the Conservative’s deeply flawed immigration bill, should be referred to committee immediately for amendments rather than proceeding with second reading in the House of Commons, the NDP said today.

“We’ve heard from many stakeholders that parts of this bill are likely not even constitutional” said Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe (Pierrefonds-Dollard), NDP critic for Citizenship and Immigration. “We want to see a bill that actually strengthens Canadian citizenship, and we’re ready to work with the other parties at committee to fix the many problems with this bill.”

Witness testimony and briefs submitted to the Citizenship and Immigration Committee from groups like the Canadian Bar Association, UNICEF, the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, Amnesty International, the Canadian Council for Refugees, as well as many respected academics, have raised concerns that the bill does not comply with the Charter or with international law.

“As it is written, this bill creates two categories of Canadians,” added Blanchette-Lamothe. “It is a fundamental Canadian value, as well as one contained in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, that all Canadians are equal, and we want to see this bill changed to recognize that.”

The NDP is calling on the government to withdraw and then reintroduce this bill, so it can be referred to Committee before second reading. This would allow MPs to work together and fix the bill.