Monday, March 12, 2007

Board changes spark worries about refugees

Minister will get more power in picking adjudicators for immigration body. Mar 03, 2007 Bruce Campion-Smith OTTAWA BUREAU

OTTAWA–They are in some ways the gatekeepers to Canada, deciding which refugee applicants get to stay and who must return to an uncertain future in their homelands.

In some cases, the decisions made by the adjudicators on the Immigration and Refugee Board could mean life or death for the people involved.

Now, the Conservative government is changing the way those adjudicators are appointed, putting more power over the selection in the hands of Immigration Minister Diane Finley. Immigration experts fear the coming reforms will not only politicize the independent, quasi-judicial board but lead to a more worrisome outcome: an anti-refugee ideology that might close Canada's doors to refugees.

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