Premier in talks with PMO

Metro Canada (Vancouver) - - NEWS | CANADA - JES­SICA BOTELHO-URBAN­SKI/FOR METRO

Af­ter a sec­ond week­end surge of asy­lum seek­ers crossed into Man­i­toba on foot, Premier Brian Pal­lis­ter told me­dia Mon­day his of­fice is in talks with the prime min­is­ter’s to de­ter­mine safer so­lu­tions to bor­der jump­ing.

“There has been a call to the prime min­is­ter on this is­sue... We’ve es­tab­lished an in­ter­de­part­men­tal com­mit­tee that is also in­ves­ti­gat­ing and re­search­ing ways to ad­dress this,” Pal­lis­ter said.

The premier said his first con­cern is the se­cu­rity of Man­i­to­bans, par­tic­u­larly those who live in Emer­son and have been con­flicted over whether to open their doors to asy­lum seek­ers mak­ing the treach­er­ous trek into Canada in the freez­ing cold.

Many lawyers and or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing Amnesty In­ter­na­tional and the Cana­dian Civil Lib­er­ties As­so­ci­a­tion, have called for the Safe Third Coun­try Agree­ment to be scrapped or re­vised.

The agree­ment has a loop­hole al­low­ing asy­lum seek­ers to claim refugee sta­tus in the sec­ond safe coun­try they’ve ar­rived in — Canada — if they aren’t caught by bor­der pa­trols be­fore ar­riv­ing.

NDP im­mi­gra­tion critic Na­hanni Fontaine has called on the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment to lobby Ot­tawa to sus­pend the Safe Third Coun­try Agree­ment.

“Many refugees in the U.S. do not feel safe given some of the re­cent de­vel­op­ments, in par­tic­u­lar the ex­ec­u­tive bans that were signed and ex­e­cuted by Pres­i­dent Trump,” Fontaine said.

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