Parti Québécois (PQ) Leader Jean-François Lisée says an independent Quebec would deal more quickly with asylum seekers, but would not afford them the same rights as a citizen.
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The party’s position is in a series of leaflets and videos aimed at promoting independence and educating the electorate.
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Lisée was in Montreal Tuesday to present the first series of seven capsules that dealt with the benefits of a sovereign Quebec as it pertains to topics including border management, health-care financing, pensions and pipelines.
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The border position states an independent Quebec would not sign the Safe Third Country Agreement, allowing asylum seekers to cross at regular channels instead of trudging through forests.
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Lisée says the lengthy time to process applications – as long as three years – is due to the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to grant those seeking asylum most of the rights of a Canadian citizen as soon as they arrive in the country.
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He says an independent Quebec would draw inspiration from European countries, where an applicant’s asylum status is considered different from that of a citizen and the process moves far more quickly.