Ontario: Immigration detainees on Day 14 of hunger strike


The Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ont. (Wikipedia)

Immigration detainees now on Day 14 of hunger strike in Ontario

Detainees, who want a limit on detentions, are beginning to feel effects of hunger strike

CBC News Posted: Jul 25, 2016 10:44 AM ET Last Updated: Jul 25, 2016 10:44 AM ET

A hunger strike by about 50 immigration detainees at two Ontario prisons has entered its 14th day.

Immigration consultant MacDonald Scott, who represents four detainees who have stopped eating, told Metro Morning that some of the immigration detainees are prepared to continue the strike until they are able to meet with Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

The group wants Goodale to limit detentions to 90 days and to stop putting immigration detainees in maximum security prisons.

“My understanding from people on the inside that I have talked to is that a number of the longer-term detainees are determined to stay on the strike until they get the meeting with Ralph Goodale,” Scott said. “Right now, it’s a ripe time for us to be pushing for Canada to obey international law and put in a release period.”

Scott said the detainees want the government to ensure if detainees are not deported to their country of origin within 90 days, then they are released from detention. The detainees currently refusing food are being held at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ont., and the Toronto East Detention Centre in Scarborough.

Immigration detainees in Canada are held at immigration holding centres, but transferred to provincial prisons when they are considered high risk. That includes detainees who have criminal backgrounds, outstanding charges, a history of violence, are an escape risk, or pose a danger to themselves or others.


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