October 17, 2012
Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney seeks limits on Ministerial Powers
Minister Jason Kenney is seeking limits on new power that will allow him to prevent certain individuals from entering Canada.
The legislation, Bill C-43 would give the minister the power to bar people for what are described as “public policy considerations” but that term isn’t defined in the bill. Kenney said he intends to put a set of criteria before the committee and ask MPs how to best apply the new power. Opposition parties have criticized Bill C-43 saying it could be misused to deny entry to those who hold views the government dislikes.”
Kenney states that it would be used rarely “it would only be used in very exceptional cases…when we believe a foreign national may come to Canada (and promote hatred which could lead to violence… we are not looking at some broad generalized power to prevent the admission of people to Canada whose political opinions we disagree with”
Kenney said Canada is among the only countries in the world that doesn’t give the minister such power, and it has led to frustration in the past. He cited a case last year when he was powerless to block two Islamic speakers known for homophobic and sexist remarks.
Kenney included the new ministerial authority called “negative discretion” in a piece of legislation expected to be studied by the Commons immigration committee this fall.