The Global Compact for Migration: The binding non-binding agreement.
Much has been said lately by politicians and the media about the United Nations Global Compact for Migration (GCM). So what is all the fuss about?
The GCM is a United Nations led effort to set international standards and responsibilities around migration, Canada included. Justin Trudeau is expected to sign this agreement next week in Morocco.
Let’s get something out of the way from the get-go. This agreement is not binding, meaning the government doesn’t need to take any action – it’s a political declaration if you will. So if it’s not enforceable, what’s the big deal?
Well first, why sign on to an agreement that does nothing? It makes no sense.
Logic would then have it that if Justin Trudeau thinks it’s important to sign, then the agreement must have real consequences.
To quote the National Post’s John Ivison, “[t]he very act of signing creates an expectation that the signatories will take action. It’s not nothing” and “[w]hatever your views on the declaration, it is beyond dispute that it is not merely an “aspirational document.””
With respect to such agreements, Ivison says, “[w]e have heard in the past about UN declarations being merely “aspirational.” As it turned out, they have become much more than that.”
So what’s so troubling about signing on to this agreement?
Well, for one, it could over time erode Canada’s ability to chart our own path on immigration and migration issues.
In other words, it opens the door to foreign bureaucrats of the UN to potentially interfere in Canadian laws and rules on migration.
There are many examples where non-binding agreements, pacts and accords – such as this one – are used as justifications for rulings in our own courts.
Brian Lilley, in his article on the topic, says, “…don’t think a judge here in Canada won’t look to the text of the agreement and say Canada must do more to implement it.”
In addition to issues with Canadian sovereignty, this UN Migration Pact calls for governments to “re-educate” the media on migrant issues.
Brian Lilley asks a good question, “Will criticizing illegal border crossers in the media be problematic in the future? Especially as Trudeau moves forward with his multi-million [$595,000,000] dollar media bailout?”
The question becomes, is it wrong or too much to ask that the Canadian government – not foreign entities like the UN – be in control of our immigration system? A system that is orderly, compassionate and fair.
I think Canadians through their democratically elected representatives are perfectly capable of determining how our immigration rules should be shaped.
The single most important priority of any elected official on any level of government in Canada is to represent and respect the wishes of their constituents, not the wishes of UN bureaucrats.
This Migration Pact has the potential to erode Canadian sovereignty and muzzle legitimate criticism of very real issues.
That is why signing this agreement is wrong. And a Conservative government in 2019 will reverse it.