We are writing to let you know about a very important issue and to ask for your help. Bill C-31 is an anti-refugee bill that violates human rights in significant ways (more on this below). Unfortunately, most people in Canada are unaware of this Bill and what it intends to do. The government is trying to pass this Bill very quickly, and we are taking several urgent actions to try to prevent it and for this we need your help:
- On March 26th, we will be holding a street theatre "jail cell" protest against Bill C-31. Individuals will have the opportunity to take their photo from inside, or in front of, a "jail cell". This act symbolizes one aspect of the Bill, that would incarcerate refugee seekers for 12 months without judicial review. Everyone who takes a photo inside or in front of a jail cell can post it through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. This will help spread the word to other people in Canada who would also be outraged if they knew about this unfair and draconian Bill, and want to take action to stop it.
For more information and resources about Bill C-31, please see: www.ccla.org/protectrefugees For details of the event, click here.
Join our Facebook event and you can invite all your friends once you have RSVP'd that you are "going" or "maybe" going. Your friends will in turn be able to do the same.
- As this Bill has largely slipped under the radar, our main objective is to spread the message about Bill C-31 to people throughout Canada. Whether or not you are able to participate in person, we would appreciate your assistance in spreading the word with your friends and contacts - and asking them to do the same.
Bill C-31 is an "omnibus" refugee bill that includes provisions that would in certain circumstances do the following:
- authorize mandatory 12 month detention for groups of refugees;
- discriminate against certain groups of refugees;
- keep spouses apart and parents separated from their children for well over 5 years;
- create an unfair refugee claim process - which could result in Canada sending people back to a risk of torture, persecution or even death;
- strip away permanent resident status and deport people who have made Canada their home and been living here for many years, through no fault or action on the part of these individuals.
When it comes to other dark chapters in Canadian history - such as the era of the Chinese head tax, the refusal to admit Jewish refugees during WWII, the internment of Japanese Canadians, and the Residential schools - we can only apologize. But when it comes to Bill C-31, it's not yet too late to take action.
This unconstitutional and un-Canadian Bill could pass into law in the next few weeks. And all of this without most Canadians even being aware of it.
On March 26th, we will be holding: (1) an on-line virtual "jail cell" protest for participants from across Canada, and (2) a street theatre "jail cell" protest in front of Parliament Hill in Ottawa:
(1) Details of the on-line event will soon be posted on our website and on our FB page.
(2) At the Ottawa event, members of the public will have the opportunity to take their photo from inside, or in front of, a jail cell. This will signify that we stand with the refugees who would be persecuted under Bill C-31, and strongly oppose the passage of this Bill. Photos can then be shared through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, and help raise awareness about the Bill.
The event will take place:
When: Monday March 26th
Time: 9 AM to 1:30 PM
Where: Ottawa - Parliament Hill (corner of Wellington and Metcalfe)
What can we do: Drop by, take your picture, bring your friends, associates, and family. Share this information with your co-workers, cultural, faith, sports, political or other networks.
Please feel free to let us know if you and others plan to come by.
See you on the 26th on the Hill (in jail)!
Noa Mendelsohn Aviv