Compromise Between New Democrats, Conservatives Ensures Fairness for Refugees
June 17, 2010
OTTAWA – Olivia Chow has always believed her role as your elected representative was to make Parliament work.
So when the Immigration Minister introduced a fundamentally unfair refugee reform bill, Olivia Chow did what she was elected to do: reach across party lines to amend the bill, making it both fast and fair. In what the Toronto Star called “a miracle deal on the hill”, Olivia won major concessions from the Conservatives government.
The Government’s original version of the bill would have unfairly discriminated against refugee claimants from countries of origin which the Minister deemed to be safe from persecution, denying them the same access to appeals and humanitarian and compassionate consideration that all other refugees have.
No country is truly free from persecution, and all those who seek protection in Canada should be given equal rights. This is especially true with women, gays and lesbians fleeing violence and persecution.
After much tough negotiation, the Refugees Reform bill obtained all party consent and was fast tracked through the House of Commons.
Olivia Chow will continue doing what you elected her to do: make Parliament work.