Write or email your Member of Parliament
Contact information for MPs, including email addresses, postal addresses and phone numbers is available at: http://bit.ly/qE5yCU
Or contact MPs on the Parliamentary Standing Committee who will study Bill C-31 after second reading in the House of Commons.
No postage is required if you send your letter or postcard to your MP on Parliament Hill.
Suggested points for your email, letter or postcard concerning Bill C-31:
1) If your Member of Parliament represents an Opposition party (New Democratic Party, Liberal Party, Bloc québécois or Green Party) include:
- I am writing to thank you for your support for refugees in Canada and for your party’s public stance against Bill C-31 Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act(a bill that is actually an attack on refugees).
- I urge you to speak out publicly against Bill C-31 Protecting Canada's Immigration System Actand to vote against it.
2) To Conservative Members of Parliament include:
- I am gravely concerned about Bill C-31. The bill is given the title Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act, but actually it is an attack on refugee rights.
- I urge you call for the withdrawal of the bill. It must be replaced with legislation which is fair, affordable, and independent, and which complies with the Charter and Canada’s international obligations.
3) Additional points to include:
- Explain your/your organization’s interest in this issue (be brief).
- Bill C-31 reforms Canada's refugee determination system to be unfair to refugees from designated countries of origin and with strict, speedy timelines.
- Bill C-31 permits unchecked ministerial powers over refugee status determination in Canada.
- Bill C-31's measures to 'curb human smuggling' will do nothing of the sort. Instead, they punish refugees.
- Bill C-31 introduces the concept of 'conditional' permanent residence, clawing back many of the factors that enable resettled refugees to more quickly and effectively integrate into Canadian society.
You can use this model text in your letter or email (it can also be downloaded below):
As a constituent in your riding, I’m writing to you about my serious concern over Bill C-31. The bill is given the title Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act. Despite the intent to provide protection, it will put refugees at risk. I urge you to call for its withdrawal and to vote against Bill C-31 at second reading.
The bill is contains very grave flaws that you must consider:
Bill C-31 reforms Canada's refugee determination system to be unfair to refugees from designated countries of origin. It contains strict timelines that won’t allow time to prepare for their hearings and bars them from any appeal. There is no chance to catch mistakes and thus puts refugees at risk.
Bill C-31 creates unchecked ministerial powers to designate countries of origin, eliminating provisions for advice from independent experts. It renders ministerial decisions vulnerable to trade, military and diplomatic considerations.
Bill C-31's measures to 'curb human smuggling' will punish refugees. Certain refugee claimants, including some minors, will be jailed for a minimum of one year without judicial review. (Such detention has already been found by the Supreme Court to be illegal).
Bill C-31 introduces the concept of 'conditional' permanent residence, making refugees permanently unequal to their neighbours. This will remove the sense of security for themselves and their families that enables them to more quickly and effectively integrate into Canadian society.
For these reasons, Bill C-31 should be withdrawn or defeated. Any legislation that replaces it should be fair, affordable, independent and comply with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canada’s international obligations.
For more information about Bill C-31 and some of the other concerns that I have, please read http://ccrweb.ca/sites/ccrweb.ca/files/c31formps.pdf
I look forward to hearing from you.