Emergency Debate

I just called the office of my Member of Parliament in advance of tonight’s emergency debate on the Executive Order. It took five minutes.

I spoke as to why the United States’ status as a safe third country should be revoked. There are four criteria for review of a safe third country:

  1. whether it is party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1984 Convention Against Torture;
  2. its policies and practices with respect to claims under the 1951 Refugee Convention, and its obligations under the 1984 Convention Against Torture;
  3. its human rights record; and
  4. whether it is party to an agreement with the Government of Canada for the purpose of sharing responsibility with respect to claims for refugee protection.

I also noted the other points proposed by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Please do this. Find your MP’s phone number here.

Something to do

I am mostly at a loss as to how to respond to today’s events in the US, but here is one thing.

The Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement came into effect in 2004, and it states that “refugee claimants are required to request refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in”. The United States is considered a “safe country” under this law. As of today, refugees from across the Middle East and North Africa who have spent months or years seeking status in the United States are at risk of arriving there only to be turned back to their country of origin. Because of the Safe Third Country Agreement, they cannot then seek refugee status in Canada.

Call your Member of Parliament’s constituency office. Call the office of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen1, at (613) 954-1064. Write Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at 80 Wellington Street, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2. Sign this petition. Tell your friends.

  1. Minister Hussen is a dual Somalian-Canadian citizen and, as of today, can no longer travel to the United States.