Conservatives bow to pressure, amend parts of controversial refugee bill

OTTAWA—The Conservative government proposed amendments to a controversial newrefugee bill on Wednesday, but critics say they still have major concerns with the legislation.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney admitted he was prompted to introduce some changes toBill C-31 by months of outrage from refugee advocacy groups and Opposition critics.

“I believe it’s not right for the government to take the position that the original bill is the only option possible,” he said.

“I’m open to other reasonable ideas … and I believe the modifications are in agreement with our objectives.”

The Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act makes several reforms to the refugee system and the Conservatives say it’s designed to crack down on bogus refugee claims.

Among other things, the bill would see people designated as part of a “mass arrival” detained for a year before the decision to imprison them was reviewed.

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