US Secretary of Homeland Security and Canada's Deputy Prime Minister.

An agreement without substance

   
Niagara Falls, Ontario - Wednessday, July 3, 2002 - by: Joe Hueglin
   

public
relations

An agreement "in principle" that "
Anyone who comes to North America to claim asylum must
file their claim with the first country in which they
arrive."(1)
was signed with much fanfare in Niagara Falls June 28th. It was a public relations
exercise without substance.

 

 

no real
change

From what is known at present when finalized the principle will
"apply only to those who claim refugee status when
they arrive at a border point"(2)
not to anyone coming in as a visitor either across the American border, by plane or
by boat. Once on Canadian soil the right to claim refugee status, obtain working
papers and welfare and to disappear should they choose will remain untouched.

 

 

Canada
good
place

The public relations lead up to the signing sparked a rush to border crossings. The draw?
"Friends told me that Canada is a good country and
they will give you charity, and you can reside
there very easily,". (3)

 

 

US or
Europe

Canada has no borders with refugee producing countries. 60% of claimants come through
the 'States the other 40% largely through Europe.

 

 

country
shopping

Canada's policy ought to be that refugees
"claim asylum at their first opportunity, rather
than go around the world and shop for a good
forum." (4)
This policy would free up millions of dollars now spent on lawyers, appeal boards and
their attendant bureaucracies.

 

 

help
those
in need

Redirected these savings could, as Deputy Prime Minister John Manley stated,
"allow Canada to bring in more refugees from United
Nations camps overseas and stop asylum seekers from
shopping for country of their choice."(5)
   
 

Joe Hueglin

   
Reference:

1
-

"Canada-U.S. agree to 'safe third country' refugee pact" By CAMPBELL CLARK, ESTANISLAO OZIEWICZ AND TU THANH HA, Globe and Mail, Saturday, June 29, 2002 Page A1,
   

2-

Canada-U.S. agree to 'safe third country' refugee pact
   

3

Refugees jam border fearing new policy By INGRID PERITZ AND CAMPBELL CLARK, Globe and Mail, Friday, June 28, 2002 page A 8
   

4

Smart border' to turn away more refugees, Adrian Humphreys, National Post, Saturday, June 29, 2002
   

5

Canada-U.S. agree to 'safe third country' refugee pact"
   
  Officials slam airport security team, By TOM GODFREY, TORONTO SUN , Friday, June 28, 2002
   
  Border crossings pose security risk, By TOM GODFREY, Sun Media, Monday, July 1, 2002