Reforming the Canadian Refugee Determination System

Martin Collacott


If Canadian refugee policy is to serve interests of Canadians
as well as those of genuine refugees in an effective manner,
far more radical changes will be needed than have been
attempted to date. They must include the introduction
of robust safe third country designations, a review of the
1985 Singh decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, and
possible withdrawal by Canada of its accession to the 1951
UN Refugee Convention. Other measures should also be
considered such as placing an annual limit on the intake of
refugees from overseas combined with that of successful incountry asylum seekers as well as establishing provision for
temporary refugee status in Canada in addition to permanent
resettlement. Measures should be taken to return
Canada to its role primarily as a resettlement country for
refugees selected abroad and not one that accommodates
large numbers of asylum seekers making claims on our territory.
With strong public backing for major changes, political
parties that oppose such reforms will do so at the risk
of losing electoral support.

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