Look to the future to meet the growing needs and aspirations of Canadian Muslim communities.
Following is a partial transcript of NCCM’s presentation on Bill C-20.
NCCM has heard countless stories over two decades about the challenges that Muslims face at the border. That is why one of our key battles over two decades has been in calling for oversight over the Canada Border Services agencies. While we support the passage of this bill, we would like to see three key amendments, without which we have grave concerns that the impact of this bill will be a very limited first step. Rather than the kind of comprehensive reform we need to see. Now, firstly we suggest that the definition of National security in C-20 needs further clarification. We believe the current language of the bill means that there could be unforeseen consequences arising from section 31 subsection 2 as the bill is currently drafted …
We recommend an amendment to section 8 subsection 1 that requires a timeline of 3 months for the oversight body to deal with the first step of a review process for the complaint, rather than leaving it to the commission and the RCMP to establish the timeline.
Finally, although the bill identifies the need to protect unreasonable search and seizure, we recommend a zero tolerance for racial discrimination. We have seen a number of Muslim clients mistreated with Islamophobic or racist conduct. Recently research conducted in March 2020 found that over 75% of CBSA officers surveyed said they witnessed a colleague discriminate against Travellers based on their National or ethnic origin. We are aware that in one instance a CBSA officer cited sources in a decision that drew on well-known Islamophobe Daniel Pipes. And in one instance cited information that link to hateful accusations leveled against NCCM and other prominent Canadian Muslim organizations. To the best of our knowledge the CBSA has never publicly apologized for relying on such nonsense. As such, considering the history of CBSA and the clear presence of Islamophobic prejudice in its work and culture a zero tolerance for hate clause should be instituted. We will expand significantly on the submissions before you today in a follow-up brief to be submitted. Subject to your questions that concludes our submissions.
Bill C-20 NCCM Recommendations