Canadian Council for Refugees E-Chronicle Vol. 9 #3, 6 June 2014

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Vol. 9 no. 3, 6 June 2014

In this issue:

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  1. Join the Walk with refugees for a stronger Canada

Walk with refugees for a stronger Canada, 16-22 June 2014Momentum is building for the cross-Canada Walk with refugees for a stronger Canada from 16-22 June and you’re invited! The Walk is an excellent opportunity to reach out to colleagues, friends and leaders in your community and to share how:

  • Refugees near us enrich our lives and why protecting refugee rights in Canada is a strong tradition to continue
  • We can make our communities stronger by working together with refugees and others seeking protection
  • You can help put refugee voices front and centre
Here’s how to can get involved:

Click here for more information about the Walk with refugees for a stronger Canada or write to refugeewalk@ccrweb.ca with your questions.

  1. Beyond Gateways to hope, pathways to belonging: Consultation conclusions

Gateways to hope, pathways to belonging225 participants joined us at the CCR’s Spring Consultation in Halifax from 29-31 May.
 
Resolutions adopted by CCR member organizations at the Consultation are available at ccrweb.ca/en/resolutions-may14
Interested in hearing more about the CCR Spring Consultation and speakers from some of the sessions? We’ll be featuring some encore presentations as webinars in the coming months. Stay tuned to: ccrweb.ca/en/webinars for announcements and online registration.
 
For more information about the CCR Consultation in Halifax and upcoming Consultations (Gatineau in Fall 2014 and Winnipeg in Spring 2015), see: ccrweb.ca/en/meetings

  1. Harder to get, easier to lose: The CCR documents barriers to citizenship

Barriers to citizenshipIn recent years, it has become harder for newcomers to get Canadian citizenship. Increasingly difficult tests, more costly applications, additional requirements, longer waits and frustrating red tape have stood in the way of newcomers becoming citizens and thus being able to participate fully in Canadian society with all rights. These barriers are having a disproportionate impact on more vulnerable newcomers, such as refugees and more isolated or low-income newcomers.
 
The CCR has put together a new overview of obstacles to citizenship and their impacts on newcomers, especially refugees. Read it at: ccrweb.ca/en/barriers-citizenship
 
You’ll also find related information about changes to citizenship in Canada, including the impacts of Bill C-24, at: ccrweb.ca/citizenship
  1. Cessation: Stripping refugees of their status in Canada

A new CCR report Cessation: stripping refugees of their status in Canada shows that, following recent changes to the law, refugees now live in fear of loss of status and removal from Canada, in a process that is arbitrary, draconian and absurd. Beyond those directly targeted, a climate of fear is developing, leaving refugees with a sense of insecurity even if they have permanent residence.
 
Although the possibility of a cessation application is not new, recent changes in Canadian law have made the consequences much more dramatic: refugees who are permanent residents may now lose their permanent resident status and be deported.
 
Among the law-abiding and contributing members of Canadian society now facing cessation applications are individuals who:
  • Have been living in Canada for over a decade
  • Have Canadian citizen children
  • Have a spouse with permanent status in Canada
The full report, including case studies, is available at: ccrweb.ca/en/cessation-report
  1. Representation and recommendations: An alternative Welcome to Canada for newcomers

In 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) published a new guide for newcomers, Welcome to Canada: What You Should Know. Given the guide’s role in introducing Canada to arriving immigrants and refugees, it is important that it represent the country fairly. An analysis of the text and images in the guide raises some concerns about the representation of indigenous peoples, gender, LGBT communities, among other issues.
 
The CCR Youth Network is working on an alternative guide for newcomer youth, which will give fuller representation of the realities of life in Canada, along with advice and resources from youth who arrived before.
 
This alternative guide will be launched at the Youth Action Gathering in Toronto in August 2014. Stay tuned to the Youth Network webpage at: ccrweb.ca/en/youth for more information.
  1. Youth Action Gathering this August: Strengthening relationships between generations

Youth Action Gathering 2012 in MontrealThis 21-23 August, the CCR Youth Network will hold its 3rd Annual National Youth Action Gathering (YAG) in Toronto!
 
The YAG will engage young refugees, immigrants, youth settlement workers and allies from across Canada on common challenges and provide strategies to address them, nationally and in their own communities. As always, this will be a weekend of sharing, learning, networking, and fun!
 
Our theme this year is intergenerationality - strengthening connections and sharing experiences between generations.
 
Other topics include:
  • Access to education for newcomer youth
  • Unpacking gender and intersectionality
  • Building bridges with indigenous youth and communities
  • Violence and stereotypes
  • Using art to express and connect experiences
For more information and to get involved with the Youth Action Gathering: ccrweb.ca/en/youth/meetings/yag-join
  1. Other news from the CCR

 

Upcoming Meetings

Youth Action Gathering, Thursday, 21 August - Saturday, 23 August, Toronto

Summer Working Group meetings, Friday, 5 September and Saturday, 6 September 2014, Montreal

Fall Consultation, Thursday, 27 November - Saturday, 29 November, Gatineau