I, as I believe most Canadians, am deeply troubled by the images that we’ve seen coming out of the USA. The images of children being kept in cages is nothing short of disturbing. Children are vulnerable and separating them from their parents undermines their psychological, emotional and physical safety and well-being.
Canada has recognized the deep pain and trauma caused by the forcible separation of children from their parents during the Residential School era. I believe it is important we continue to stress that such practices are unacceptable and we should strive to do better to protect and support the human rights of children globally.
Last year, our Government announced a new directive that includes the best interest of the child as a primary consideration for the Canada Border Services Agency when making detention decisions affecting families. The goal was simple: to avoid detaining children as much as possible and keep families together. Since 2014-2015, immigration detention has been reduced by 30% and in the words of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees: “By and large, the Canadian system remains exemplary worldwide”.
Thank you to all constituents who have reached out to me regarding this important and pressing matter. I’d like you to know that I have brought these concerns directly to the Prime Minister’s Office and I will continue to advocate keeping families together here at home and afar and to protect and support the safety and well-being of all children.
Member of Parliament for Labrador