Under withering criticism from the Opposition, the Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale reiterated that simply entering Canada was not a “free ticket” for irregular migrants to stay in the country.
But pointed out that regardless the means used to enter Canada, the individual must be given a fair hearing to determine whether they require protection.
From the moment asylum seekers started crossing into Canada from the U.S. in significant numbers, the federal government has made sure that laws are being followed and international obligations are met, he added during a House of Commons immigration committee meeting Tuesday.
The committee is holding an emergency meeting in the dead of summer at the urging of opposition members to study the issue of asylum seekers at the border.
Goodale said it wasn’t practical to make the entire border an official entry point as that would mean staffing the 900,000-kilometre length. He also said the Americans would have to mirror the effort to make it work.
The government’s plan to address the asylum seeker issue draws on resources from the 2018 budget, said Goodale, who described the border situation as a challenge, not a “crisis” as the Tories allege. -CINEWS