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Canada is set to resume deporting Zimbabweans after realising the country is safe and there is “no longer a generalised risk to the entire population”. It is among countries that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe and travel bans on President Mugabe and other senior Zanu-PF officials.

Canada suspended deportations to Zimbabwe more than 10 years ago, but its Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said the moratorium of deportations to Zimbabwe and Haiti have been lifted and migrants from the two countries face deportation if they remain without legal status in the next six months.

“The conditions in Haiti and Zimbabwe have improved and the Government of Canada considers that there is no longer a generalised risk to the entire civilian population in these countries.

“Haitians and Zimbabweans have demonstrated tremendous courage in recovering from the ‘earthquake’ of 2010 and years of political instability.

“After a thorough review of country conditions, the Government of Canada is lifting the temporary suspension of removals to these countries as others of our international allies have already done,” said the Canadian Government in a news release.

It said with the suspension now lifted, affected individuals will be provided with an additional six months to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

All affected individuals, it said, would be given an additional six months to stay in Canada, with access to work permits to allow them enough time to either apply for permanent residence in Canada based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds or return home.

It said in support of this measure, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) would defer their removal pending a final decision on their humanitarian and compassionate application.

Canada imposes a temporary suspension of removals on a country when the entire civilian population faces a generalised risk as a result of an armed conflict within a country or place or an environmental disaster resulting in a substantial temporary disruption of living conditions or any situation that is temporary and generalised.

The Canadian Government said the temporary suspension of removals was an interim measure as CBSA and Citizenship and Immigration Canada will review country conditions and make recommendations on whether to impose, maintain or lift a temporary suspension of removals.

“Canada is one of the most generous countries in the world, and we have extended that generosity for over 10 years to Haitians and Zimbabweans by allowing them to stay in Canada because of unsafe conditions in their home countries. With the temporary suspension now lifted, the uncertainty has ended and Haitians and Zimbabweans will have the opportunity to apply to make Canada their permanent home,” said Mr Alexander.

The Canadian government, in coming up with decisions, considered that Zimbabwe is not in a state of war or extreme civil strife, international humanitarian assistance is available, displaced persons and refugees are returning to their homes, the United States of America, Australia, the United Kingdom and South Africa are removing individuals to Zimbabwe and that there are regular international flights to and from Zimbabwe.

Source : The Herald