Canadian Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney recently announced that the Canadian Government would be reintroducing Bill C-49 now that the Conservatives have won a majority government. The Bill was pushed aside when the federal election was called earlier this year, but Minister Kenney has announced his intention to reintroduce it once Parliament is back in session in June.
Because they have a majority government, the Conservatives will not need to make changes to the Bill to please the opposition.
The Bill’s official title is Preventing Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act. Since it was announced, it has spawned critics all over the country, because while it is supposed to prevent smuggling, it seems to really affect the refugees themselves instead.
The Bill would not allow anyone who is smuggled into Canada to apply for permanent residency for five years, face up to a year in jail and not be processed the same way as other refugees to Canada.
Smugglers would face stiff fines as well as be subjected to a possible life in prison, but the reality is that most of these smugglers are based in the refugees home countries and rarely set foot in Canada.
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