Government of Canada statement on arrests of alleged organizers of the MV Sun Sea

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Ottawa, May 15, 2012 —The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, and the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism today made the following statement following new arrests in the MV Sun Sea case. The MV Sun Sea was a migrant vessel that brought 492 irregular migrants to Canada in August of 2010 as part of a human smuggling event. The RCMP announced today that two individuals have been charged with one count of Organizing Entry into Canada contrary to Sec 117 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) for their involvement with the MV Sun Sea. These arrests follow the announcement in April of the arrest of another individual in France.

We congratulate the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on these important arrests. Human smuggling is a crime that our Government takes very seriously.  That is why we introduced Bill C-31, the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act. With this new legislation we enhance our ability to crack down on human smugglers, including making it easier to prosecute them, and introducing mandatory minimum sentences.

Canada is a generous and compassionate country that welcomes newcomers but Canadians are not naïve.  Canada will not tolerate abuse of our immigration system for financial gain through the despicable crime of human smuggling.

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Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada’s economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.

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