2nd Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 149, Issue 159
Thursday, June 25, 2015
The Honourable Leo Housakos, Speaker
Citizenship and Immigration
Deportation of Burundi Nationals
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate and concerns the deportation of Burundians on Canadian soil. As you know, Burundi is a member of the Francophonie, and many Burundians live in Canada. However, about 50 of those individuals have received notices of deportation.
Leader, does Canada intend to reconsider its decision to deport these people?
Hon. Claude Carignan (Leader of the Government): Senator, as I have always maintained, we are very cautious when a country’s political situation poses risks to the safety of individuals. The situation is thoroughly reviewed on a regular basis and takes into account the various events that give rise to crises in different countries.
Senator Jaffer: Thank you, leader, for your answer. I realize that this is a delicate situation. However, does Canada intend to be proactive and ensure that the safety of these individuals is central to the discussions and considerations?
Senator Carignan: Senator, as you know, the safety of individuals is always our priority when we make these types of decisions.
Senator Jaffer: Leader, I’ve had many people from rural communities in Quebec, people who were originally from Burundi, and many living in Montreal, phoning me to say they are receiving notices of deportation. My question to you is: Will the government stop sending those notices?
Senator Carignan: Senator, as I said, the Department of Foreign Affairs reviews almost daily the political situation of the various countries to ensure that the safety or the lives of people are not placed in immediate danger when deportation orders are issued.
Senator Jaffer: I appreciate your answer, and I believe you are really trying to answer my question. May I respectfully ask that you find out if they are going to stop sending notices to the people from Burundi until the situation in Burundi settles down?
Senator Carignan: Senator, as I have always said every time you raised questions about the geopolitical situations in these countries that could threaten people’s safety, Canada is always concerned about humanitarian crisis such as the one in Burundi at present. We will continue to play a central role to ensure the development of intervention mechanisms that will enable the international community to respond to the crisis as effectively as possible.