Government of Canada seeks public input to transform Canada’s immigration detention system

News Release

As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to create a better, fairer immigration detention system, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is inviting Canadians to provide their feedback on the National Immigration Detention Framework. 

The Framework was announced by the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness on August 15, 2016, with the objective of addressing ongoing challenges in immigration detention related to infrastructure, policy, operational procedures and detainee health and welfare, including those with special needs. 

As a first step, the CBSA has already increased mental health training to staff at all immigration holding centres (IHC) across Canada. In addition, detainees at the Toronto IHC now have enhanced access to medical services, including psychological counselling and 24-hour nursing care. Work is underway to extend these same services to the IHCs in Laval, QC, and Surrey, BC. 

In fall 2016, CBSA officials held cross-Canada consultations on the Framework with key stakeholders, provincial partners and civil society to gather insight, opinions and concerns related to detention policies such as minors in detention, long-term detention and alternatives to detention. The roundtable discussions were completed in December 2016 and provided the CBSA with meaningful input and recommendations to refine program and facility design, and implement new national standards and policies. 

A summary report of the Framework initiatives includes the input received from stakeholders during the roundtable sessions and is available on the Consulting with Canadians website. As a second phase of the consultations, the CBSA invites stakeholders and Canadians to review the report and provide their input by      May 22, 2017. 

Feedback received during the consultation period will be used to implement the Framework. Following the consultation, a report summarizing the input received will be made public.



"Canada must have a much improved immigration detention system - one which effectively limits the use of detention to those difficult cases where there are serious concerns about the individual being unidentified, a flight risk or a danger to the public. We need to minimize the use of provincial jails and try to avoid, as much as humanly possible, the holding of children in detention. Our consultations are focused on developing meaningful and workable alternatives, as well as upgraded facilities and services." 

- Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

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