Harper tours Sri Lankan migrant ship
VANCOUVER - Prime Minister Stephen Harper is touring one of the two cargo ships that delivered hundreds of Tamil migrants to Canadian shores over the past two years as he tries to drum up support for his government's immigration reforms.
Harper was on board the MV Ocean Lady that brought 76 Sri Lankan migrants in October 2009; another 492 Sri Lankan migrants arrived aboard the MV Sun Sea last August.
Harper says the Conservative government is cracking down on illegal human smuggling and sending a message with its reforms that abuse of Canada's immigration system will not be tolerated.
In addition to Bill C-49, the prime minister says the federal government has appointed a special adviser on human smuggling and illegal migration and strengthened co-operation with international partners to combat human smuggling.
Critics say the Conservative reforms are an attack on refugees.
Harper is in B.C. promoting his government's immigration platform at a time when speculation is rife that there could be a spring election.