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Sun Sea costs $25mn for Canada

9 February 2011 02:47 am - 13     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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OTTAWA — The arrival of the MV Sun Sea off the coast of British Columbia last August has cost Canadians at least $25 million, so far.

The ship arrived in Canadian waters in mid-August after a three-month journey from Thailand. The ship brought 492 ethnic Tamils from Sri Lanka to Canada claiming refugee status.

The government released supplementary spending estimates Tuesday morning that show the arrival of the MV Sun Sea had the biggest impact on the budget of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The agency has asked for $22 million to pay for "incremental costs relating to the mass migrant arrival of the MV Sun Sea.”

The RCMP has also had to spend a small fortune because of the ship's arrival. The estimates show the Mounties want $2.1 million to cover their expenses.

A further $908,000 is allotted to the Immigration and Refugee Board hearings that have been ongoing since the ship arrived.

 The spending estimates don't include the cost of health care the federal government provided for the refugee claimants or a reported $2 million spent to provide legal services for the passengers.

Stephen Harper's government, which claimed the ship had ties to the terrorist Tamil Tiger group, responded to the Sun Sea with Bill C-49. The bill proposes several changes to the immigration and refugee act, including penalties for refugees who arrive in Canada aboard a ship such as the Sun Sea.

Opposition parties have all said they oppose the bill, in particular sections that would allow those who arrive on such ships to be detained for up to one year while their identity and their refugee cases are settled. The government claims the changes would stop others from taking advantage of Canada’s immigration system. The Liberals, Bloc and NDP all claim the changes are unfair and unconstitutional.

Some passengers from the Sun Sea have been released, but others remain in custody.
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  Comments - 13

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  • Nihal Amarasekera Wednesday, 09 February 2011 03:54 AM

    You asked for it; more headaches to come. Soon Canadians will seek greener pastures in Sri Lanka.

    mike Wednesday, 09 February 2011 12:45 PM

    20 of best canadian immigrant lawyers were waiting at the berth when ship arrived. a master game here. LTTE is screwing canada right royally

    Anushka Wednesday, 09 February 2011 04:48 AM

    Even if they are given asylum in Canada, most of those ex-terrorists would become gangsters and a danger to the public and won't be helping the Canadian economy in any way. Either way, it's Canada's loss.

    Darwin Wednesday, 09 February 2011 04:50 AM

    Oops, the brothers could have built more highways with this money. What a waste.

    Calistus Jayatilleke Thursday, 10 February 2011 02:36 AM

    What a worthy investment for Canada.

    sam Wednesday, 09 February 2011 05:04 AM

    Weldone.Please keep feeding them

    MagodisThuma Wednesday, 09 February 2011 01:37 PM

    Canada is our Dustbin !.

    Bluff Bluff Wednesday, 09 February 2011 06:35 AM

    You asked for it and now you are getting it. Enjoy!

    Concerned Wednesday, 09 February 2011 06:36 AM

    Charge the entire cost to the accounts of Canadian politicians who supported LTTE separatism in Sri Lanka.

    Dilhan - Dubai Wednesday, 09 February 2011 06:40 AM

    all the best Canada!!

    pol atha Wednesday, 09 February 2011 02:39 PM

    Tigers doing well canada.

    nagu Wednesday, 09 February 2011 07:57 AM

    Canadian People are paying for these Terrorists expenses thru taxes.....

    Noah Wednesday, 09 February 2011 03:40 AM

    Now only canada feels the burden of accepting tigers..


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