Concerns and questions over establishment of Ministry of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction

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Media release

For immediate release

9 August 2018

Concerns and questions over establishment of Ministry of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction:

Organizations seek clarification from Prime Minister

In a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau, organizations from across Canada have laid out concerns and questions regarding the appointment of a new and unprecedented Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction.

The key concerns outlined in the letter include:

  • Creating a Minister of Border Security fuels an unfounded sense of crisis, going against the government’s stated position that Canada faces challenges, but not a crisis, with increased numbers of refugee claimants.
  • Conflating border security and organized crime is a toxic combination, with the potential to deepen public fears and misunderstandings of irregular migration and border security. In diffusing public concerns, the government should clarify the fact that refugees are often forced to cross borders using irregular channels, a fact recognized in international and in Canadian law.
  • A third Ministry adds further confusion regarding roles and responsibilities, particularly when aligned with the roles and responsibilities of the Ministry of Public Safety (especially the Canada Border Services Agency) and the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

The organizations urge the Prime Minister to provide greater clarity and rationale on the need and role of the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction without delay.

Click here for the full text of the letter and signatories. Signing organizations are available to speak to media on these concerns.

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Contacts:

Beth Berton-Hunter, Media Officer, Amnesty International Canada (English branch), (416) 363-9933 ext. 332, BBerton-Hunter@amnesty.ca

Colleen French, Communication Coordinator, Canadian Council for Refugees, (514) 277-7223, ext. 1, (514) 602-2098 (cell), media@ccrweb.ca

Tim McSorley, National Coordinator, International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, (613) 241-5298, national.coordination@iclmg.ca