VICTORIA — British Columbia is ending an arrangement with Canada Border Services Agency to hold immigration detainees in provincial correctional centres, saying the arrangement doesn’t align with its stance on human rights.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says in a statement the province conducted a review that analyzed all aspects of its contract with the agency, including public safety, and consulted with advocacy groups.

He says it brought to light that aspects of the arrangement don’t align with the government’s commitment to upholding human rights standards or its dedication to pursuing social justice and equity for everyone.

The move comes following calls from the groups Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International to terminate its immigration detention contract with the federal government. 

Ketty Nivyabandi, secretary-general of Amnesty International Canada, says in a statement that she commends B.C. on being the first province to make the decision, calling it a “true human rights victory.”

Farnworth says BC Corrections will be providing CBSA with 12 months’ notice as is required under its current contract.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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