[UPDATED] Immigration detainee held in Ontario jail 'treated like an animal'
[Updated August 15, 2016] Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said his government will spend $138 million to improve immigration detention facilities so that fewer people are held in provincial correctional centres. But those who are considered a flight risk, a risk to public safety, or whose identity is in question will remain in jail, he says. Goodale tells As It Happens guest host Laura Lynch: "You have to have your ability to cope with those very serious problems."
Listen to our full interview with Minister Ralph Goodale here:
Here's our original post for more on this story:
Richard Abuwa is about to be deported to Nigeria from an Ontario maximum security jail, but he's still speaking out on behalf of his fellow immigration detainees.
Abuwa arrived in Canada as a child but repeated run-ins with the law cost him his residency status and left him ineligible for citizenship. Abuwa had come from Nigeria but, until recently, the Nigerian government refused to allow his return. Abuwa says that the Canada Border Services Agency decided he was a flight risk and he joined the ranks of other immigration detainees, imprisoned indefinitely alongside criminals serving criminal sentences.
RICHARD ABUWA: To me there's no reason for me with no criminal charges living in a cage like an animal, treated like an animal, and then they expect me to behave rationally. It's not right. It's not fair.
HELEN MANN: So what are the demands then of those of you who've been on this hunger strike?
On Thursday, a spokesman for Goodale said the minister's new plan for Canadian immigration detainees would be released "in the near future."
Abuwa talks more about the hunger strike and the anxieties he's feeling ahead of his deportation back to Nigeria on Monday. For more, listen to our full interview.