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Canadian Government Plans New Immigration Law, Minister Says

May 22 (Bloomberg) -- Canada’s ruling Conservative Party will reintroduce a law aimed at curbing human smuggling when Parliament convenes next month, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said.

The proposed law was scrapped earlier this year when an election was called for May 2. The Conservatives won the right to form a majority government in the vote, which means they no longer need the support of opposition lawmakers to pass laws.

A cargo ship carrying about 500 Sri Lankan refugees made headlines in August when it reached Canadian waters off the coast of British Columbia. Canada said at the time that human smugglers were behind the operation.

“Criminal networks” are charging people “tens of thousands of dollars” to transport them to Canada illegally, Kenney told CTV television network’s Question Period program in an interview in Ottawa today.

“We committed in our platform to bring forward a bill to crack down on human smuggling,” the minister said. “We know those operations are still going on in East Asia. So this legislation will come forward fairly early to try to deter them.”

The proposed law would also make it easier for Canada to deport fraudulent refugee claimants after a few months instead of several years, Kenney said. About 60 percent of the asylum seekers who come to Canada are found “not to be legitimately in need of our protection,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Frederic Tomesco in Montreal at tomesco@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sylvia Wier at swier@bloomberg.net

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