OTTAWA — Canada’s Liberal government admitted Wednesday that it is not having much success in deporting criminals or security risks who should never have been allowed into the country. After being stonewalled on Tuesday, the deputy leader of the official opposition Conservatives asked the government about the issue again during Question Period in the House of Commons.
“The federal policy is very clear: security-order deportation is the prime focus for this government and they are failing on this. Will the minister tell us what he plans to do?” Lisa Raitt asked Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
Goodale responded by saying it was the fault of the country of origin.
“The issue is obviously one of being able to physically carry out the removal order. That means getting travel documents from other countries to facilitate the removal of the individual from Canada to that other country,” Goodale said. “We are using every conceivable leverage among federal government departments to obtain those documents.”
Raitt’s question was prompted by a Global News report on an escalating number of potential deportees that the federal immigration department has failed to send back to their country of origin: that list currently stands at 1,200.
Global’s research indicates a disconnect between the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). While the IRB might issue deportation orders, the CBSA isn’t always following those instructions. In 2017, the IRB attempted to send 25 people back where they came from; the CBSA only acted in four of the cases.
The report also found that deportation orders for the most serious offenders — those with ties to organized crime or who have a committed serious crimes — are down by a third.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable – but I’m very glad to see, Mr. Speaker, that the minister got off his high horse today and is actually answering the questions instead of ignoring the problem like he did yesterday,” Raitt said.