(The Canadian Press)

Federal Court declares Canada-U.S. refugee pact unconstitutional

The agreement meant Canada and the U.S. recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

A federal judge has struck down a key agreement on refugees between Canada and the United States.

In a ruling today, Federal Court Justice Ann Marie McDonald says elements of the law underpinning the Safe Third Country Agreement violate constitutional guarantees of life, liberty and security.

Under the agreement, Canada and the U.S. recognize each other as safe places to seek protection.

It means Canada can turn back potential refugees who arrive at ports of entry along the Canada-U.S. border on the basis they must pursue their claims in the U.S., the country where they first arrived.

Canadian refugee advocates have vigorously fought the deal, arguing the U.S. is not always a safe country for people fleeing persecution.

The Canadian Council for Refugees, the Canadian Council of Churches and Amnesty International argued in court that by returning ineligible refugee claimants to the U.S., Canada exposes them to risks in the form of detention and other rights violations.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

refugee

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Valley of the Springs Winery grand opening event a smashing success

Three of four time slots available during the two-day event completely sold out

New 4.9 hectare fire burning east of Trout Lake

Another out-of-control fire in the Lake Creek area has also grown to 6.6 hectares

UPDATE: Search effort underway for Slocan River drowning victim

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

Kootenay doctor among 82 physicians, dentists calling on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Structures not threatened by wildfires burning in the Arrow and Kootenay Lakes region

Official says more lightning-caused fires could occur in region over next 36 hours

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Smoker Farms bringing craft-style cannabis to Beaverdell

Husband-wife team growing small-scale cultivations of marijuana

Answers to 5 common questions facing families for the COVID-19 school year

COVID-19 protocols are likely to vary even more at the school board level, and even and school-to-school.

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Most Read