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Canada to unveil proposals to reform refugee system

world Updated: Mar 30, 2010 08:12 IST

Canada will unveil long awaited proposals to reform its refugee system this week that fast track genuine cases and weed out bogus cases from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and other countries.

Under the proposed legislation, Canada would resettle as many as 14,500 refugees selected by the United Nations annually, 2,500 more than it does currently and provide more funding to help them integrate into society and find jobs, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said on Monday.

Around five hundred refugees would be sponsored by the government, while the remaining 2,000 would be sponsored by Canadians and permanent residents as part of the private sponsorship refugees program.

Under the new legislation, refugee claimants would be sorted into two groups — those from democratic countries deemed safe, and those from more dangerous spots.

The first group would be fast-tracked, but would still have access to a full hearing. Bureaucrats, rather than political appointees, would handle the initial decisions.

The bill would set up a new, more robust appeal system, allowing those who are turned down to introduce new evidence before they are ejected from Canada.

"Millions of people have fled violence and persecution to seek refuge outside their home countries and we would like to do more to provide them with protection in Canada," Kenney said, adding the government plans to introduce balanced reforms to provide protection to more people.