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Bill C-11 Status Update

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The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration is undertaking the process of public consultations across Canada with respect to Bill C-11, an Act respecting immigration to Canada and the granting of refugee protection to persons who are displaced, persecuted or in danger. The committee will be holding public hearings as follows:

April 30 – Vancouver
May 1st – Winnipeg
May 2 and 3 – Toronto
May 4 – Montreal

Meanwhile, there seems to be considerable debate between the legal community and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration regarding the provisions of Bill C-11. The Canadian Bar Association has prepared and distributed issue papers concerning several aspects of the proposed legislation. The CBA believes that these provisions are incompatible with basic principles of justice, are disrespectful of permanent residents and denigrate their status, and unnecessarily transfer lawmaking powers from Parliament into the hands of Cabinet and public servants.

More information about CBA’s viewpoint can be found at: http://www.cba.org

The Honourable Minister for Citizenship and Immigration maintains that the reforms proposed in Bill C?11 are vital in the context of the changed global environment of today, which has rendered the current 25-year old legislation ineffective. The minister stresses that the legislation has been drafted after extensive consultation spanning almost five years. The minister highlights the fact that the new legislation makes it easier for families to reunite quickly and opens the door wider for skilled immigrants to come to Canada. The minister maintains that the administrative reforms proposed in Bill C-11 are necessary to protect national security and to ensure the confidence of Canadians in the integrity of the system.

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