ARCHIVED — Vol. 146, No. 26 — December 19, 2012

Registration

SI/2012-95 December 19, 2012

PROTECTING CANADA’S IMMIGRATION SYSTEM ACT

Order Fixing December 15, 2012 as the Day on which Certain Sections of the Act Come into Force

P.C. 2012-1587 November 29, 2012

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, pursuant to subsection 85(2) of the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, chapter 17 of the Statutes of Canada, 2012, fixes December 15, 2012 as the day on which sections 7 and 8, subsection 9(1), sections 17 to 22, subsection 23(1), sections 29 and 33 to 35, subsections 38(1) and (2) and sections 39, 41 to 46, 49 to 51 and 53 of that Act come into force.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Order.)

Proposal

This Order fixes December 15, 2012, as the day on which sections 7 and 8, subsection 9(1), sections 17 to 22, subsection 23(1), sections 29 and 33 to 35, subsections 38(1) and (2) and sections 39, 41 to 46, 49 to 51 and 53 of the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act (the Act),chapter 17 of the Statutes of Canada 2012, come into force. Sections 1 to 3, 5, 10, subsection 11(2), sections 12 to 16, subsections 23(2) and (3), sections 24 to 28, 32, 36, 37, subsection 38(1.1), sections 48, 52, 55 to 69, and 79 to 84 came into force on royal assent. Sections 4 and 6, subsections 9(2) and 11(1) and sections 30, 31, 40, 47, 54 and 70 to 78 will come into force on a subsequent day or days to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.

Objective

This Order brings into force sections of the Act that make a number of changes to Canada’s refugee determination system by amending the Balanced Refugee Reform Act (BRRA) as well as introducing new changes. The Act also amends the refugee determination process with respect to the “irregular arrival” of refugee claimants, through provisions substantively similar to those previously introduced in Bill C-4, the Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act. Third, the Act amends other areas of immigration law, notably by expanding opportunities to sponsor immigrants.

Background

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration committed to implementing Canada’s new refugee determination system by the end of 2012. Bringing the remaining provisions of the Act into force also fulfills the Government of Canada’s March 2010 and June 2011 Speech from the Throne commitments to reform the refugee system and strengthen Canada’s overall immigration system. The Act (Bill C-31) was introduced in the House of Commons on February 16, 2012. It was referred to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on April 23, 2012, and the committee reported the bill back to the House of Commons with 15 amendments on May 14, 2012.

The Act amends the BRRA to authorize the Minister to designate certain countries — by ministerial order — as “designated countries of origin.” Countries so designated respect human rights, offer state protection, and do not normally produce refugees. The purpose of this designation is to expedite the processing of asylum claims from those countries. The Act amends the BRRA to eliminate the ability to designate parts of countries or classes of nationals of a country.

The Act will authorize the Minister of Public Safety, in certain circumstances, to designate as an irregular arrival the arrival in Canada of a group of persons and to provide for the effects of such a designation in respect of those persons as they relate to detention, conditions of release from detention, applications for permanent resident status, availability of recourses, and reporting requirements. In addition, the Act amends certain enforcement provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, notably to expand the scope of the offence of human smuggling and to provide for mandatory minimum punishments in relation to that offence.

The Act also expands sponsorship options to allow a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or a group of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, corporation or unincorporated organization to sponsor a foreign national.

Consultation

The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration conducted two weeks of hearings and heard from over two dozen witnesses, including representatives from many stakeholder organizations. Following these consultations with Canadians, refugee advocates and parliamentarians, the Government introduced amendments that address some stakeholder concerns.

Departmental contact

Andre Baril
Director
Asylum Policy and Programs
Refugee Affairs Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
365 Laurier Avenue W
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1L1
Email: Andre.Baril@cic.gc.ca