NEWS

Chris Alexander set to ban immigrants in polygamous, forced marriages

11/05/2014 09:05 EST | Updated 01/05/2015 05:59 EST
A bill that would ban individuals in polygamous marriages from immigrating to Canada will be tabled this afternoon, CBC News has learned.

The government also wants to protect women and girls who seek to escape polygamous or forced marriages.

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Status of Women Minister Kellie Leitch will announce measures "aimed at protecting women and girls from abuse" when they address a news conference in suburban Toronto at 9:15 a.m. ET Wednesday. CBC News will livestream the event.

The 2013 speech from the throne promised action on forced marriages and so-called honour killings, an issue that has concerned the Harper government, in light of cases including the multiple murders in 2009 of female members of Montreal's Shafia family.

“Sadly, millions of women and girls continue to be brutalized by violence, including through the inhumane practice of early and forced marriage. This barbarism is unacceptable to Canadians," the throne speech said.

A government source says that globally, between 2004 and 2014, an estimated 100 million girls, will have been forced to marry before their 18th birthdays, often in polygamous unions.  

Wednesday's announcement is intended to demonstrate this is "incompatible with Canadian values and will not be tolerated."

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