Credit: HyunGu Kang Credit: HyunGu Kang

Half of Canada’s provinces now ending immigration detention in provincial jails: Saskatchewan announces end to agreement with CBSA

Saskatchewan will end the practice of detaining people seeking safety or a better life in its provincial jails, joining British ColumbiaNova Scotia, Alberta, and Manitoba. Half of Canada’s provinces have now committed to stop locking up refugee claimants and migrants, based solely on administrative immigration grounds.

 “Saskatchewan has made a significant move today,” said Ketty Nivyabandi, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada. “Immigration detention has no place in a welcoming and rights-respecting country. This momentum must and will continue.”

By September 2023, the date set for Saskatchewan to end immigration detention, the worst conditions of immigration detention will have already ended in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Alberta, while Manitoba will follow by 2024.

It is time to end the use of provincial jails for immigration detention across the country. Join Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch in calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to give people seeking safety or a better life the true #WelcomeToCanada they deserve.

Call on Prime Minister Trudeau to

end immigration detention in jails across Canada

“Saskatchewan’s decision is a crucial human rights development that upholds the dignity and rights of people who come to Canada in search of safety or a better life,” said HRW Disability Rights associate director Samer Muscati. “With half of Canada’s provinces now canceling their immigration detention contracts, when will the federal government show leadership by canceling the remaining agreements, which are at the heart of so many rights violations.”

To learn more about Canada’s immigration detention system, the harms it causes, and the rights violations that take place within it, we invite you to read “I Didn’t Feel Like a Human in There”: Immigration Detention in Canada and its Impact on Mental Health.

For more information, please contact:

For Amnesty International Canada, in Toronto, Cory Ruf: +1-647-269-1795 (mobile); or

For Human Rights Watch, in Ottawa, Samer Muscati: +1-437-886-2505 (mobile); or Twitter: @SamerMuscati