Last Friday evening I hosted a community town hall in West Kelowna.
I host these forums so that citizens can hold me to account and so I can hear what concerns are on people’s minds.
Often concerns raised locally may be very different from the major subjects of debate in Ottawa.
One such local concern, raised from a number of people, was the United Nations (UN) Migration Compact.
This is a subject that has received very little, if any attention in Ottawa.
What is the UN Migration compact?
Technically it is called the “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration”.
It is a 34 page agreement that contains 54 points under 23 stated objectives.
Created in July of 2018, it is scheduled for ratification from signatory countries, including Canada, in a meeting hosted by Morocco on December 10 and 11 of 2018.
Already this document has proven to be controversial.
Israeli PM Netanyahu asserted:
"Israel will not accede to, and will not sign, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. We are committed to guarding our borders against illegal migrants. This is what we have done and this is what we will continue to do."
It has been reported that the Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache has said:
“Migration is not and cannot become a human right,” and that Austria would not be a signatory to this agreement.
Countries such as Australia, Croatia, Hungary, Poland and the United States have also stated they will not be signing the agreement.
Our Conservative Immigration Shadow Minister, MP Michelle Rempel, stated:
“By allowing nearly 38,000 people to enter Canada illegally from the safety of upstate New York then claim asylum, Trudeau has undermined the integrity of Canada’s borders. Canada’s borders should not be compromised by abuses of our asylum system, and should not sign this compact.”
The Liberal Minister for Immigration has co-authored a report that indicates Canada was actively involved in the drafting of the Compact and that “Canada is committed to the task of leading and encouraging other partners to realize its ambitious goals, to ensure that action breathes life into the words of the Compact.”
Supporters of the compact on migration contend “The UN’s global compact on refugees could be a game-changer—and Canada is well-placed to help make it a reality”.
Critics are concerned that many countries, including Canada, currently have immigration systems that are not working well in dealing with illegal immigration and that the UN compact offers no technical solutions to this problem.
From my perspective it is worth noting that the UN compact on migration is a non-legally binding, cooperative framework of the signatory states.
For those who would like to read the agreement it can be found here:
My question this week:
Considering this is a non-binding agreement, do you support or oppose Canada signing on to the UN Migration Compact?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.