Liberals will vote against human smuggling bill
The three Opposition parties are uniting to vote down the Conservative government's proposed human smuggling legislation.
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff announced Wednesday that his party won't support Bill C-49 when it reaches second reading in the House of Commons, which would effectively kill the controversial measures.
Ignatieff said the proposed law violates the Canadian Charter of Rights.
"We feel after much thought and reflection that this bill is in violation of the Charter," Ignatieff told reporters after his morning caucus meeting.
"Mandatory detention is just not in the Canadian tradition. We think it's not Charter-proof, as a result."
The bill would increase the minimum fines and jail terms for those caught bringing illegal aliens to Canada.
It would also affect the people being smuggled. Refugees could spend as much as a year in detention facilities while their claims were being processed.
In its current form, the legislation punishes "the victims, not the criminals," Ignatieff said, calling the bill "unsalvageable."
Both the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois also oppose the bill, leaving the minority Conservative government without enough support to win approval for the bill.
It isn't clear when the bill will move forward. The Conservatives have yet to set a date for second reading in the Commons.
While the Liberals say there is no point in trying to amend the bill to make it acceptable, Ignatieff said he is still willing to work with the Tories on "a bill that works."