Today’s Star has a story ( click here ) saying proposed government legislation could “exile ‘thousands’ of permanent residents for minor crimes”. Is that true?
I think not.
The actual language proposed says:
24. Subsection 64(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), serious criminality must be with respect to a crime that was punished in
by a term of imprisonment of at least six months or that is described in
paragraph 36(1)(b) or (c). Canada
Now, if the text was “with respect to a crime that was subject to punishment in
by a term of imprisonment of
at least six months” almost anything would be caught and minor (nay
trivial) crimes could lead to exclusion. Canada
But the legislation says “with respect to a crime that was punished in
by a term of imprisonment of at least six months” . Canada
To get a term of incarceration of six months or more you have to commit a serious crime. Typical assaults, thefts, impaired etc etc never get anything like six months.
Now, the proposed legislation does lower the bar and people charged with smallish drug trafficking, mid level assaults or repeated but minor crimes will be caught – and that may not be a good thing depending on your views of who should and who should not be allowed to remain in Canada as non-citizens. That said, people will not be excluded for “minor” crimes.