POLITICS
08/14/2017 19:39 EDT | Updated 08/15/2017 09:44 EDT

UN Asks Canada How It Makes Up For U.S. Immigration ‘Shortcomings’

Everyone wants to know how Canada deals with its "bigger neighbour."

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stands near U.S. President Donald Trump and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May at the Belvedere of Taormina during the Summit of the Heads of State and of Government of the G7 on May 26, 2017 in Sicily.

An United Nations special committee went an hour over its allotted time in Geneva on Monday, asking questions to a Canadian delegation about the country's record on racial discrimination.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) asked a series of questions that covered topics from violence against Indigenous women to the fact that minority people are disproportionately represented in the country's prisons.

And because of Canada's proximity to the United States, experts broached the topic of how the two countries approach immigration.

"How far can your country offset the shortcomings of the bigger neighbour?" CERD committee member Marc Bossuyt asked in reference to U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration and refugee bans.

A delegation led by the Canadian Heritage department is in Switzerland to attend two days of questioning before the special UN committee.

First Nations Child and Family Caring Society executive director Cindy Blackstock and lawyer Pam Palmater are also in Geneva to attend meetings at the UN headquarters.

At one point during questioning, the U.S. member of the committee, Gay McDougall, put some pressure on Canada to lead with implementing progressive pieces of legislation to end racial discrimination.

Canada is expected to respond to the UN's suite of questions on Tuesday.

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