Say No to Bill C-31 – Candle-Light Vigil, Thursday April 26th, 2012, Quebec City

Say No to Bill C-31 – Candle-Light Vigil, Thursday April 26th, 2012, Quebec City

Submitted by Bob McBryde

The Noella Project, the refugee outreach project of the Anglican Cathedral of Quebec, and The Anglican Diocese of Quebec invite all concerned citizens (permanent residents included) and media to a candle-light vigil on Thursday April 26, 2012, to protest against Bill C-31, which will undermine our tradition of welcoming the stranger and giving victims of persecution a chance to live in peace. 

C-31 will give one government minister the power to:

  • Imprison refugees, including children, for one year
  • Remove permanent residence from refugees, with no appeal
  • Prevent appeals by deciding a country is “safe”
  • Stop refugees from bringing their families for seven years
  • Deprive refugees from appealing life and death decisions
  • Further limit access to the Canadian refugee system (Nelson Mandela and Alexander Solzhenitsyn would not have qualified) 

Speakers include Bishop Dennis Drainville, Diocese of Quebec; Mitchell Goldberg, Canadian Assoc. of Refugee Lawyers; Robert McBryde, Amnesty International, Andrée Juneau, Service d’accueil aux refugiés de Québec.

Plus: Refugee stories, music 

When: Thursday April 26, 2012, 7 pm.

Where: In front of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, 31 Rue des Jardins, Quebec.
Bill C-31 will mean that when a person arrives in Canada as a refugee they will face a series of unjust measures which violate the principles of refugee protection.  The impact of these harsh measures is compounded by the fact that many refugees have already lived through extremely difficult, stressful and life threatening experiences before they arrive in Canada

1. Some persons making a refugee claim in Canada can be detained for up to a year, without a review of the reasons for their detention – imagine fleeing a war-torn situation, arriving in Canada and being placed in a jail cell for up to a year with limited opportunities to make your claim as a refugee.

2. The Bill states that there will be a five year ban on family reunification for some refugees who are accepted into Canada.  Imagine you have been given a second chance at life in a peaceful country, but your safety cannot be shared with your loved ones. They must continue to live in an unstable and perhaps life threatening situation.

3. The Bill states that some refugees will not be able to appeal a negative decision of their refugee claim. You will be returned to the country you came from – and to the harsh realities you fled.

4. The Bill gives the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration power to influence the outcome of refugee decision making.

5. The Bill threatens to expel refugees from Canada when the conditions in their home country which forced them to flee no longer exist. The violations and shortcomings in Bill C-31 do not uphold international refugee and human rights principles which Canada helped to establish.

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