Musings —02.13.2017 08:40 AM—
U.S. border guards would get new powers to question, search and even detain Canadian citizens on Canadian soil under a bill proposed by the Liberal government.
Legal experts say Bill C-23, introduced by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, and likely to pass in the current sitting of Parliament, could also erode the standing of Canadian permanent residents by threatening their automatic right to enter Canada…
Michael Greene, an immigration lawyer in Calgary, says C-23 takes away an important right found in the existing law.
“A Canadian going to the U.S. through a pre-clearance area [on Canadian soil] can say: ‘I don’t like the way [an interview is] going and I’ve chosen not to visit your country.’ And they can just turn around and walk out.
“Under the new proposed bill, they wouldn’t be able to walk out. They can be held and forced to answer questions,” said Greene, who is national chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s citizenship and immigration section.
Under the existing law, a strip search can only be conducted by a Canadian officer, though a U.S. officer can be present. Greene points out C-23 says if a Canadian officer is unavailable or unwilling, the U.S. officer can conduct the search.
“So you could have a circumstance where the Canadian officer says, ‘No I don’t think a search is warranted here. I’m not willing to do it.’ But the U.S. officer just says, ‘Fine, we’re going to do it anyway.'”
I’m going to be on The Eric Drozd Show on @570News/@RogersTVWR this morning to talk about this, and voice my objections, as the CBA and others are doing.