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BC stands up for human rights at US border

BC Corrections providing CBSA with 12 months written notice, wants transition plan.

Thursday July 21, 2022 | VICTORIA, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends


Today Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth has released a statement about BC Corrections ending its arrangement with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on the management of individuals held under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

It’s a significant proactive step by the province, aligned with BC’s approach to ‘people first’, equitable social justice, and human rights while maintaining a commitment to public safety.

mike farnworth
Solicitor General and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth [File: June 6, 2022]

BC Government Statement on Ending CBSA Arrangement:

“In the fall of 2021, I committed to a review of BC Corrections’ arrangement with the CBSA on holding immigration detainees in provincial correctional centres. This review examined all aspects of the arrangement, including its effect on public safety and whether it aligns with the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and expectations set by Canadian courts.

“As part of the review, BC Corrections engaged with multiple external stakeholders and advocacy groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and incorporated their input.

“The review brought to light that aspects of the arrangement do not align with our government’s commitment to upholding human-rights standards or our dedication to pursuing social justice and equity for everyone.

“In light of these findings, the Province is ending its arrangement with the CBSA. BC Corrections will provide the CBSA with 12 months’ written notice as required under the current arrangement.

“BC Corrections is committed to working with the CBSA to develop a safe and efficient transition plan that achieves our common commitment to public safety while ensuring the rights of individuals are preserved and protected.”

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