Which immigration promises will a Liberal minority government likely keep?
When it comes to immigration, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau made several key promises during the election. A few were specific, such as a pledge to create a new program that will allow municipalities to “sponsor” economic immigrants, while others were more general.
So which of the pledges on immigration will the Liberals be most likely to keep? And which promises — especially considering that either the NDP or Bloc Quebecois will hold the balance of power in any new government — are likely to go unfulfilled?
Most likely to fail
The Liberals campaigned on a promise to “modernize” the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) between Canada and the United States.
The agreement, which has been controversial ever since the number of asylum claims in Canada began to spike in the spring of 2017, allows would-be refugees to make claims at the border, even when they enter Canada at unofficial points of entry.
Trudeau and the Liberals have said changing the STCA would enhance border security and improve fairness in Canada’s asylum system.
But according to Sharry Aiken, a law professor at Queen’s University, any promise to “close the loophole” or amend the STCA agreement is likely to fail because that would require Donald Trump to agree to keep more immigrants and asylum seekers in the U.S. — something Aiken and other experts say Trump is unlikely to do.
Another reason why this promise may not succeed is that both the NDP and Bloc Quebecois have called for the STCA to be suspended until the Americans can prove that their asylum system is fair for would-be refugees.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh — who could hold the balance of power in a Liberal minority government — has been especially vocal about the abuse and mistreatment that migrants entering the U.S. have faced from the Trump administration, saying it’s clear the U.S. is no longer safe for refugees.