This enactment amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to, among other things,
(a) authorize the Minister, in certain circumstances, to designate as an irregular arrival the arrival in Canada of a group of persons, the result of which is that some of the foreign nationals in the group become designated foreign nationals;
(b) authorize an officer or the Minister, as the case may be, to refuse to consider an application for permanent residence if the applicant has failed to comply with a condition of release or other requirement imposed on them;
(c) provide that a person may not become a permanent resident as long as an application by the Minister for cessation of that person’s refugee protection is pending;
(d) add, as grounds for the detention of a permanent resident or foreign national, the existence of reasonable grounds to suspect that the person concerned is inadmissible on grounds of serious criminality, criminality or organized criminality;
(e) provide that the Immigration Division must impose any prescribed conditions on the release of certain designated foreign nationals;
(f) provide for detention rules and a review procedure that are specific to the detention of certain designated foreign nationals;
(g) clarify the authority of the Governor in Council to make regulations in respect of conditions of release from detention;
(h) provide that certain designated foreign nationals may not apply to become permanent residents until the expiry of a certain period and that the processing of any pending applications for permanent residence is suspended for a certain period;
(i) require certain designated foreign nationals on whom refugee protection has been conferred to report to an officer;
(j) authorize the Governor in Council to make regulations respecting the reporting requirements imposed on certain designated foreign nationals;
(k) provide that the offence of human smuggling is committed when a person organizes the coming into Canada of another person and knows, or is reckless as to whether, the entry into Canada is or would be in contravention of the Act;
(l) provide for minimum punishments for the offence of human smuggling in certain circumstances;
(m) in respect of the determination of the penalty to be imposed for certain offences, add as an aggravating factor the endangerment of the life or safety of any person as a result of the commission of the offence;
(n) change the definition of “criminal organization” in Part 3 to give it the same meaning as in subsection 467.1(1) of the Criminal Code; and
(o) extend the time for instituting proceedings by way of summary conviction from six months to five years or from six months to 10 years, as the case may be.
The enactment also amends the Balanced Refugee Reform Act to provide that a refugee protection claimant whose claim is rejected is not prevented from applying for protection earlier than 12 months after the day on which the claim is rejected, if it is rejected as a result of a vacation of the initial decision to allow the claim.
The enactment also amends the Marine Transportation Security Act to increase the penalties for persons who fail to provide information required to be reported before a vessel enters Canadian waters or to comply with ministerial directions and for persons who provide false or misleading information. It creates a new offence for vessels that fail to comply with ministerial directions. It also amends the Act to authorize regulations respecting the disclosure of certain information for the purpose of protecting the safety or security of Canada or Canadians.