The Canadian government said on Friday it is appealing a Federal Court of Canada ruling that overturns a controversial deal with the United States that requires asylum seekers trying to cross the Canadian border to apply first asylum on American soil.
This Canada-US agreement, passed in 2004, stipulates that a person seeking asylum must file their application in the first country they enter, either Canada or the United States.
On July 22, the Federal Court of Canada struck down the controversial agreement, ruling that this “safe third country agreement” violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“Today, the Government of Canada appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal since it considers that certain key findings contain errors of fact and law,” the Minister of Public Safety said in a statement Bill Blair.
“There are important legal principles to be determined in this case, and it is up to the Government of Canada to appeal to ensure the clarity of the legal framework governing the right to asylum,” he added.
“The Government of Canada remains firmly committed to maintaining a compassionate, fair and orderly refugee protection system,” said Mr. Blair.
In addition, Ottawa continues to have “active discussions” with Washington regarding this agreement to ensure that it meets international obligations.
The court suspended the application of its judgment for six months, in order to give Parliament time to respond. The agreement remains in effect for this period.
Several refugee defense associations and the opposition to Justin Trudeau’s government denounced it on several occasions. They believe that the United States of Donald Trump, which has tightened the rules on asylum, is no longer a “safe country” for refugees.
Since Donald Trump came to power, tens of thousands of people have crossed the US-Canada border to lodge their asylum claims in Canada.