June 27, 2016 5:14 pm

Refugee system reform at risk, study warns

Improvements made to Canada's refugee system in 2012 may now be at risk.


OTTAWA – Changes made to Canada’s refugee system in 2012 have resulted in faster decisions on asylum claims, but an internal government study warns those improvements may now be at risk.

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The study found several targets weren’t met in the years following the implementation of reforms, despite the fact the government had set aside money to cover twice as many claims as were ultimately received.

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Now, the number of claims is on the rise again, fuelling fear of a growing backlog.

The evaluation of Canada’s in-country asylum claims process comes just as the Liberal government stands poised to undo one of the changes, putting further pressure on the system.

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A 2009 decision by the previous Conservative government to impose visa restrictions on Mexican nationals was one of the changes made to cut back on the number of asylum claims clogging the determination process.

But this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and announce a plan to lift that visa requirement.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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