Why Is Bill C-4 (Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act) Unfair (and Dangerous)?

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act on the table

This excellent article in The Mark News by Nick Van der Graaf explains exactly why Bill C-4, also known as the Preventing human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act, is unfair to refugees, now that parliament is back in session and that Bill C-4 is on the table again.

The bill was initially written as a reaction to the arrival of a boat containing 500 Tamil refugees on the shores of British Columbia in 2010. The bill mandates that those who arrive to Canada as refugees in manners such as these would have to spend a year in jail before they get to see a judge about their case – men, women and children.

The bill also promises stiff fines and prison sentences for human smugglers themselves.

The article discusses two key issues as to why the bill is unfair and dangerous: first, those human smugglers who would be facing stiff penalties for engaging in the act of human smuggling will likely never set foot in Canada, and thus cannot be prosecuted effectively. Secondly, but most importantly – the refugees themselves who are currently facing nearly unimaginable horrors in their home countries such as persecution, rape and the threat of death are far too busy to worry about what bills the Canadian government are passing at the moment, and the thought of a year in jail may even be far less worse than what they are facing now before coming to Canada. In addition, those who are in jail cannot be excused from their sentence by anyone except for one sole person: Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney, which puts a lot of power in one minister’s hands.

What do you think about Bill C-4?

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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