Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I appreciate being a visitor today in the committee.
I actually have two questions, and I'd like to just ask them and then allow the panel to pick and choose up to our five minutes—or seven, I'm not sure. It's seven, thank you.
One is that in the earlier session there were some questions, from Mr. Dykstra in particular, on alternatives to detention and I don't think we got very precise answers.
I know in the international refugee law realm there are quite a few sets of guidances, if you like. There are guidelines on alternatives to detention. There is a clear presumption in international refugee law against detention. The test is that of necessity, and then the alternatives that are available are part of making out the test of necessity. If anybody can talk a little bit for the benefit of the committee about what generally is understood by alternatives, that would I think help us all.
As for my second question, I too am obviously troubled by the fact that there's a mandatory 12 months without review, because again, then the whole necessity of detention just cannot be reviewed. That's just a given. We're not contesting the idea of detention; it's the idea that it can't be reviewed against a proper test.
But I'm equally troubled by the fact that if a refugee claimant is determined to be a refugee, we have all these provisions that basically penalize them in relation to other refugees. Permanent resident status doesn't come for five years, and travel documents aren't available. Family reunification can't occur because of the permanent residence delay.
To me this feels like we are using these refugees as a deterrent instrument for other refugees to say that we don't want you coming in this way any longer. I wonder if anyone can comment on whether that alone is a violation not just of morality, but also of any legal provisions that you would know of.
Those are my questions.