On June 16, The Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of the Safe Third Country Agreement. The court deemed the agreement between Canada and the United States constitutional, albeit with certain parts.
The Safe Third Country Agreement, implemented in 2004, aimed to facilitate orderly and efficient refugee processing while relieving the burden on immigration systems. It designated both Canada and the United States as safe destinations for migrants seeking protection.
According to the agreement, individuals were required to seek asylum in the first country they arrived in, thereby making it unlawful to cross the border and claim asylum in the other country. However, a loophole in the agreement allowed migrants to exploit illegal pathways to seek asylum in Canada, bypassing their previous application in the United States.
The Supreme Court's decision emphasized that the agreement does not violate Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which pertains to the right to life, liberty, and security. This was a central point of contention raised by opponents of the agreement.
Throughout the legal proceedings, various public interest parties, including the Canadian Council for Refugees, the Canadian Council of Churches, and Amnesty International, actively participated, advocating for the rights of refugee claimants. Prior to the Supreme Court ruling, activists and refugee advocacy groups organized a three-day march from Montreal to Roxham Road, urging the federal government to withdraw from the agreement.
During the event, multiple media outlets were present to report on the story. Initially, the Sûreté du Québec (Quebec's provincial police) monitored accreditation passes and granted permission for Rebel News to be present. However, following the arrival of protesters, three police officers suddenly denied access to Rebel News.
Some of the event's supporters expressed their desire for Rebel News to be present as the event's media representative. However, the SQ threatened to charge Rebel News with trespassing if they attempted to proceed further.
This incident raises concerns about potential bias and discrimination within law enforcement. The full interaction is in this report.