Canada mulls ban on polygamist immigrants

New law set to ban immigrant polygamists in Canada

The Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act, bans people who practice polygamy from immigrating to Canada
The Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act, bans people who practice polygamy from immigrating to Canada

If you have more than one wife you cannot immigrate to Canada, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander warned on Wednesday.

The North American country - which is considered by some as one of the top destinations for those looking to acquire a powerful passport - is planning to ban entry to migrants who practice polygamy and “barbaric cultural practices,” its immigration minister said Wednesday.

The move follows a spate of so-called “honor” killings over the past decade involving immigrant families from the Middle East and South Asia.

“We are strengthening our laws to protect Canadians and newcomers to Canada from barbaric cultural practices,”  Alexander said in a statement.

“We are sending a strong message to those in Canada and those who wish to come to Canada that we will not tolerate cultural traditions in Canada that deprive individuals of their human rights.”

The sweeping changes to Canada’s immigration act would also prohibit forced marriages, set a minimum age for marriage at 16 and limit possible defenses in “honor” killings and many spousal murders.

In “honor” killings, carried out to protect what is seen as family pride, reasons for disapproval can include having relationships outside of one’s caste or religion.

In May, a court ordered the mother and uncle of a Canadian woman allegedly killed overseas over her secret marriage to a poor rickshaw driver to be extradited to India to face prosecution for murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the 14-year-old case.

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