Laval Immigration Holding Centre transferred to new facility

News release

October 25, 2022          Laval, Quebec              Canada Border Services Agency

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is committed to improving the immigration detention system in a humane and fair manner while maintaining public safety.

The CBSA announced today the transfer of the current Laval Immigration Holding Centre (IHC) operations to its new facility. This marks the completion of the last major infrastructure project originally announced as part of the National Immigration Detention Framework (NIDF) in 2016.

Some highlights of the newly designed facility are:

  • Video conference capability, and hearing and bond reporting areas to reduce the need for detainees to be transported off site
  • Libraries to respect leisure activities and provide access to reading materials while in detention
  • Worship room to respect individual religious need
  • Detainee living units split by gender and risk level as well as a specialized wing to respect their unique needs

The CBSA is also providing the following support services to the detainees:

  • Translation to ensure effective communication
  • Expanded access and availability of health services within the immigration holding centres (IHC), including improved support for mental health 

These improvements will enhance the services CBSA delivers to detainees to ensure their care and wellbeing.

Detention is always used as a last resort and in limited circumstances where an individual is considered to be a danger to the public, a flight risk or where their identity has not been confirmed. It is considered only after alternatives to detention are determined to be unsuitable.

Under the National Immigration Detention Framework, the Government of Canada invested approximately $138 million over 5 years to upgrade federal immigration detention facilities and reduce reliance on provincial correctional centres. The framework was meant to build a system that ensures that detainees have access to appropriate services and programming. At the same time, it introduced new alternatives to detention. Investments were made in the construction of a new immigration holding centre in Surrey, BC, and retrofits were made to improve the centre in Toronto, ON – in addition to the construction of the Laval facility. Also, the CBSA confirmed its detention monitoring program with the Canadian Red Cross, and expanded its alternatives to detention enabling certain qualified individuals to reside in the community while their immigration status is being reviewed. Since before the launch of the NIDF in 2016, the average length of detention has decreased by 29%, and the use of provincial correctional facilities has also decreased by 22%.

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