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On 16 June 2011, the government reintroduced the Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act as Bill C-4 (formerly Bill C-49). Despite the title, most of the provisions in the bill punish refugees, not smugglers. The people who will suffer if this bill is passed are people fleeing persecution, including children.
The CCR is gravely concerned that many of the measures in Bill C-4 fail to honour our obligations towards refugees. Passing the bill will result in refugees being treated unfairly in Canada.
Join the CCR and other allies in raising public awareness and speaking out about the impacts that Bill C-4 could have on refugees in Canada. Urge the government to withdraw Bill C-4 and to address the problem of smuggling in ways that do not punish refugees.
For ideas on how you can continue to make a difference, see our Take Action request.
CCR, Brief on C-4
CCR, Bill C-4: Frequently Asked Questions (shorter, simpler explanation)
Myth-buster, Myths and Facts 2011, February 2011
CCR action request, Contact your MP (with suggested talking points)
CCR media release, Reintroduction of anti-refugee bill deplored, 16 June 2011
CCR, C-4: summary of major concerns (more detailed analysis of provisions)
CCR media release, Huge costs of government bill highlighted, 10 November 2010
CCR media release, Government bill punishes refugees, 21 October 2010
CCR Youth Network, Handout on Bill C-49
|Reprinted courtesy of Ingrid Price and The Tyee.|
Resources from other organizations
Letter on C-4 from Australian NGOs (Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Refugee Council of Australia, International Detention Coalition, Human Rights Law Centre, Brigidine’s Asylum Seeker Project, Asylum Seeker Welcome Centre)
Amnesty International action request
Rachel Kronick et al, Mandatory detention of refugee children in Canada: A public health issue?, Paediatrics and Child Health, October 2011
Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), Say No to Anti-Refugee Bill C-4
Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), Bill C-49 Punishes Asylum Seekers
Refugee Lawyers’ Association of Ontario (RLA) media release, Reintroduced Anti-Smuggling Bill Targets Genuine Refugees for Unfair and Arbitrary Treatment, 16 June 2011
Amnesty International release, Anti-Smuggling Legislation Violates Refugee Rights, 22 October 2010
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Letter to the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, from Archbishop Brendan M. O'Brien, Chairman of the Justice and Peace Commission, regarding Bill C-49, 25 November 2010
Archbishop of Vancouver, J. Michael Miller, Concerns About Bill C-49
Canadian Bar Association, CBA says Bill C-49 denies rights of refugee claimants, 1 December 2010
Liberal Party of Canada, Liberals oppose Bill C-49 for targeting refugees instead of human smugglers 1 December 2010
OCASI, Letter: OCASI Is Concerned About Bill C-49, 15 November 2010
Refugee Lawyers’ Association of Ontario (RLA), Anti-Smuggling Bill Targets Genuine Refugees for Unfair and Arbitrary Treatment, 22 October 2010
Health for All, press release, Proposed anti-smuggling bill raises serious health concerns, health group says, 8 November 2010
Public Service Alliance of Canada, press release, Human Smuggling Legislation Violates Refugee Rights, 10 November 2010
Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), Letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper regarding Bill C-4, 28 July 2011
Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), Letter to Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney regarding Bill C-4, 28 July 2011
Centre for Refugee Studies, Expert panel calls proposed human smuggling bill draconian, 16 November 2010
Centre for Refugee Studies, Video stream of panel discussing Bill C-49, 12 November 2010
Text of Bill C-4.
Text of Bill C-49.
Government release and backgrounders.
Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs Composition of Legislative Committee on Bill C-49.