Agreement on safe third country: Ottawa not so “blinded,” says the PQ

Entente sur les tiers pays sûrs: Ottawa pas si «aveuglé», se réjouit le PQ

The Parti québécois is surprised by the double-talk of the Trudeau government on the reception of applicants for asylum at the border.

“What surprises us is that Ottawa seems to ask the permission of the United States to modify the agreement,” responded Wednesday morning the leader of the PQ, Jean-François Lisée.

He commented on the information relayed by The Press, according to which Ottawa would have tried twelve times to discuss with the United States to change the Agreement to a safe third country. According to The Press, quoted by the Reuters agency, the federal government would like to expel the migrants to the border, so that they present their asylum application in the United States.

“The canadian government is not as blinded as we thought we did until now. This is good news,” said Mr. Lisée. The federal minister of Immigration refused up to now to say if talks between Ottawa and Washington had taken place.

The PQ claims the application of an article of the Agreement, which provides that a party – in this case Canada, may suspend the application of the agreement for a renewable period of three months. “Justin Trudeau has applied a provision of the agreement that exists. It is enough to ask nicely. That it applies to the agreement”, stated the head of the parti québecois.

However, the same article of the Agreement on safe third country, also indicates that any modification of the agreement must be accepted and approved by both Canada and the United States.

It is the way that seems to favour Ottawa, if his will is really to close the border to asylum seekers. The PQ does do, however, think that this is the desire of the federal government. The official opposition has asked prime minister Trudeau to clarify its strategy.

The minister of international Relations Christine St-Pierre, believes that Ottawa should continue to pursue discussions with the us government and find a solution.

“The federal government must have discussions with the us government to see how we can ensure that this situation-there will be less untenable,” said the minister.

More details to come…

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