Federal report claims Canada is a ‘preferred destination’ for ‘climate refugees’

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Immigration Canada is looking at whether ‘climate change’ will compel foreigners to enter Canada as refugees or not. 

“Canada is investing in projects that aim to strengthen data and evidence related to climate mobility in order to deepen our understanding of who is on the move and people’s considerations in deciding whether to move,” the immigration department wrote the Senate national finance committee. 

According to a 2016 report by Policy Horizons Canada, a Privy Council think tank, Canada is a preferred destination for climate refugees, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.

“Canada has the opportunity to become a preferred destination for climate refugees as well as companies trying to reduce their supply chain exposure to the risks of climate change,” said Canada 2030: Scan Of Emerging Issues – Sustainability.

“Extreme drought, rising food insecurity and water scarcity in some regions of the world may have important impacts over the next 10 to 15 years including regional conflicts, spread of disease and viruses and rising commodity prices,” it said Canada 2030. “Even companies are evaluating their exposure to the rise in extreme weather events.”

However, current legislation does not recognize “climate considerations” as grounds to claim refugee status, claimed Immigration Canada. There are “no provisions that specifically link environmental conditions to crossing international borders,” the department wrote senators.

Under the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention, “refugees” are only defined as people who “cannot return home due to a well-founded fear of prosecution based on race, religion, political opinion, nationality or being part of a social group.”

Parliament’s Immigration And Refugee Protection Act defines a refugee as “a person who cannot return to their country as they may face danger of torture, risk to their life or risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.”

“Only these factors can serve as the basis of a decision by the Immigration and Refugee Board to grant protection,” the department said.

During an October 31 hearing of the finance committee, Senator Rosa Galvez asked immigration managers for “any numbers in terms of how many people who are seeking asylum are coming because they are escaping drastic, penalizing environmental conditions in their countries.”

“The government is building a modern immigration system that will position Canada to compete on the global stage for the world’s best talent,” testified Nathalie Manseau, chief financial officer with the immigration department. 

This is a developing story.



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