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As to whether there is an advantage to just walk into Canada, either these thousands of people are stupid or Trudeau is; I leave it for the reader to decide

The Charter’s Notwithstanding Clause and Canada’s border crisis


By —— Bio and Archives August 22, 2017

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So many illegals have been walking into Canada lately, even Justin Trudeau is starting to worry. Yesterday Trudeau said if he could talk to “asylum seekers,” he would tell them, there is no advantage to just walking into Canada. He added those seeking refugee status will be subjected to a “rigorous screening process” and “our rules, our principles and our laws apply to everyone.” Cue the laughter. (CBC, Aug. 20, 2017)

During the first two weeks of August, 3,800 people were apprehended by the RCMP walking into Quebec. This does not include those who were caught walking to other provinces or those who managed to enter the country without being caught by the authorities. And there is no indication these numbers are about to decrease anytime soon.

As to whether there is an advantage to just walk into Canada, either these thousands of people are stupid or Trudeau is; I leave it for the reader to decide.

Of course there is an advantage to entering Canada illegally or it would not be happening in the numbers it is. The reality is the more people that enter, the longer it takes to process their claims. And, like it or not, the longer someone remains in Canada illegally, the harder it is to deport them. If these illegals work, do not commit crimes and have a bunch of Canadian citizen children, it is easier and cheaper to just let them remain on humanitarian grounds. Regarding Haitians, the longer they remain in Canada the more likely it is there will be another hurricane or other natural disaster that would make it inhumane to send them back there.

It is now estimated the backlog in processing refugee claims could be as much as 11 years. Michelle Rempel, the CPC’s imigration critic, says Trudeau does not go far enough and the Canadian government should spend MORE money to reduce this backlog. This won’t do the trick. Even if the backlog was reduced from 11 years to five, it would still be advantageous for those who enter with the hopes they will be allowed to remain permanently. And the time it would take to hire and train additional border guards, immigration officers and Immigration and Refugee Board personnel in order to reduce the backlog would be such it would not deter anyone from entering. The only practical way this crisis can be controlled is by the use of the Notwithstanding Clause contained in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Charter of Rights grants rights to everyone who is in the country including someone who just entered Canada illegally. In 1985 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled everyone who makes a claim to be a Convention refugee is entitled to have an oral hearing. The court found not providing an oral hearing for refugee claimants violated their rights under s.7 of the Charter that provides “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.” It is the necessity of an oral hearing that causes the long delay leading to backlogs.

Section 33 of the Charter is referred to as the Notwithstanding Clause. That allows the government to pass a law and have that law specifically state it operates notwithstanding the Charter. Such a law can only be enacted for a period of five years or less but can be renewed.

The Notwithstanding Clause could be used to abolish the necessity of an oral hearing. The hearing could be replaced by an interview with an immigration officer and a deportation order could be issued if the interview reveals the claim to be frivolous. If the claim is found to have some merit, the claimant could be referred for an oral hearing. Someone whose claim is found to be without merit could be issued with a deportation order in a matter of hours. This would be a great deterrent to many of the illegal border crossers.

Use of section 33 would speed up the processing of Haitian claims as those who fled Haiti or refused to return because of the devastating 2010 hurricane were never refugees in the first place. They were simply allowed to remain in the U.S. for humanitarian reasons

Although the Notwithstanding Clause has been used by some provinces as they can for those matters within provincial jurisdiction, it has never been used by any federal government since the Charter’s inception in 1982. It is highly unlikely it would be used in this case.

Trudeau, despite his tough talk about illegal border crossers would never resort to the use of the Notwithstanding Clause. It is extremely doubtful even a future CPC government would ever use it either. But the Tories should be talking about its use to illustrate that the absence of Canada’s southern border is indeed a crisis. Merely suggesting more money being spent to speed up an immigration bureaucracy that, being a bureaucracy is slow to begin with, is hardly worth listening to. For those who care about Canada’s sovereignty, use of the Notwithstanding Clause should not be ruled out.



Arthur Weinreb -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Arthur Weinreb is an author, columnist and Associate Editor of Canada Free Press. Arthur’s latest book, Ford Nation: Why hundreds of thousands of Torontonians supported their conservative crack-smoking mayor is available at Amazon. Racism and the Death of Trayvon Martin is also available at Smashwords. His work has appeared on Newsmax.com,  Drudge Report, Foxnews.com. Arthur can be reached at:
[email protected]

Older articles (2007) by Arthur Weinreb

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