Widely Distributed Flyer during Federal Election Campaign

Posted by admin on Jan 15th, 2006



In the past few weeks, politicians have attempted to court the ‘ethnic vote’ for the federal elections despite a bleak history of anti-immigrant and racist policies.  Federal politicians who present themselves as “advocates” or “representatives” for immigrant communities must be challenged on their record of anti-immigrant unjust policies:

* SECURITY CERTIFICATES: Canada’s Secret Trial Five are five Muslim men whose lives have been torn apart by accusations that they are not allowed to fight in a fair and independent trial. All five men were arrested under “Security Certificates” which have been described by Amnesty International as “fundamentally flawed and unfair”. Security certificates and secret evidence mirror the USA PATRIOT Act by reversing the fundamental rule of innocent until proven guilty. The men are imprisoned indefinitely WITHOUT charges on secret evidence and face deportation to their countries of origin, even if there is a substantial risk of torture or death. Security certificates only apply to Permanent Residents and Refugees. They thus deny certain classes of people in Canada their rights – a completely unacceptable discrimination. The shameful history of Japanese-Canadians being interned and deported from Canada during World War II should stand as warnings to us.

* REFUGEE APPEAL: Contrary to public perception, there are not an infinite number of appeals that a refugee can access in Canada; in fact there is no full merit-based appeal in Canada. In 2002, previous Liberal Immigration Minister Denis Coderre promised that a Refugee Appeals Division would be implemented within one year, as required by law in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. As of January 2006, there is still no Refugee Appeals Division, and refugees to Canada cannot appeal on the merit of their claim. If Canadians have the right to appeal a parking ticket, then certainly refugees facing potential torture or death should have the right to appeal the decision of a single, politically-appointed decision maker in a process that has been called a “lottery system”.

* SAFE THIRD COUNTRY AGREMENT: The most draconian measure on the rights of migrants in Canadian history is the Safe Third Country implemented on December 29, 2004. Since then, Canada’s door has automatically been closed to approximately 40% of refugees, despite the obligation not to return refugees directly or indirectly to persecution.  The number of refugee claims made in Canada has plummeted to the lowest levels in twenty years.  This major attack on asylum seekers mimics historic Canadian immigration policies such as the “None is Too Many” policy against Jewish refuges, the Continuous Journey policy implemented to exclude South Asian migrants, and the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Challenge all federal politicians who are continuing to implement policies geared towards increased detentions and deportations, thus perpetuating the structurally racist flaws in the immigration and refugee system that cannot simply be reformed.

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