Ontario the latest province to stop imprisoning migrants – CBC News [2023-06-16]

Ontario has joined seven other provinces in announcing it will no longer incarcerate migrants detained for administrative reasons in its provincial jails.

Earlier this week, a Radio-Canada/CBC report revealed that Quebec and New Brunswick had ended their contracts with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), under which the provinces were paid to imprison foreign nationals held under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Following that news, human rights organizations and immigration lawyers reinforced their appeal to Ontario, where CBSA detains the most migrants, to follow suit.

On Thursday, Ontario Solicitor General Michael Kerzner told federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino that his government was also cancelling its contract. Under these agreements, the provinces must give CBSA one year’s notice of cancellation.

Ontario’s decision was first reported by the Globe and Mail. Radio-Canada/CBC confirmed the information.

“Ontario’s correctional institutions should be focused on providing care and custody to individuals serving custodial sentences or on remand, not on immigration detainees, which is the federal government’s responsibility,” a ministry spokesperson told Radio-Canada/CBC.

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CBC News
June 16, 2023