I wrote not too long ago about CIJA's (The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs) meager response to Bill C-31. Now The Centre has issued a meatier statement on the legislation. While its tenor of the backgrounder is, in general, kissy-assy towards the Harper government, in the end it concludes:
...there are certain areas where small but significant improvements should be considered by the government:
Clear provisions should be included for how a designated country could be removed from the DCO list should the situation there warrant a re-evaluation;
In our view, DCO refugee applicants should have access to the same health coverage as non-DCO claimants, especially in light of the potential cost savings derived from the shortened processing time established by Bill C-31.
Care should be taken to avoid separating families that are part of an irregular arrival, particularly those with children under 16 who might not be detained with their parents. Once an irregular arrival claimant’s identity and status have been confirmed and they have been concretely determined to be a legitimate refugee, they should be treated the same as all other successful refugee claimants and not subjected to a five year waiting period before they can sponsor their families to join them.
Tone aside, as far as I can tell this puts CIJA more or less on the same page as The Toronto Board of Rabbis, Elie Wiesel , and other critics of the legislation within the Canadian Jewish community. Certainly in regards to the health coverage enjoyed DCO refugee claimants. On the topic of claimants from DCO nations that are safe for their majority populations, but unsafe for certain minority groups within the country (example: the Roma in Hungary), CIJA takes a somewhat weaker position, asking for clarification of what needs to happen for a state to move from the DCO to non-DCO list. And I haven't hear anyone else object to the five year waiting period (although that may be because I haven't paid sufficient attention).
Still waiting for BB to chime in. They have remained notably silent over the past month or so.