Canadian Council for Refugees E-Chronicle Vol. 9 #5, 3 September 2014

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

Vol. 9 no. 5, 3 September 2014

In this issue:

-----
  1. Federal Court ruling on refugee appeal welcomed

At the end of August, the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) and the CCR welcomed the recent Federal Court decision clarifying that the refugee appeal is a full appeal on the merits. The two organizations intervened jointly in the case (Huruglica, et al, vs Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2014 FC 799, IMM-6362-13).

In a detailed and carefully reasoned decision, the Court ruled that the law requires the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) to conduct its own independent assessment of the refugee claim. The Court found that this was the intention of Parliament in passing the law. As then Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney said in the House about the bill enacting the RAD: “It would create for the first time a full and fact-based appeal at the refugee appeal division.” The decision from the Federal Court gives effect to this purpose of the bill.

Having a full appeal on the merits is critical for refugee rights: an error at the first instance that goes uncorrected can mean that a refugee is sent back to face persecution or even death.

For the CCR’s and CARL’s full statement on the decision: ccrweb.ca/en/media-refugee-appeal-25-08-2014

For related media articles: ccrweb.ca/subject-tags/appeal

  1. Stopping social assistance payments for refugee claimants: Act against Bill C-585

Bill C-585 is a private member's bill that would allow provinces to reduce access to social assistance for refugee claimants and other people without permanent status in Canada. Bill C-585 is before the House of Commons and is scheduled to be debated at second reading on 16 September 2014.

Take action now. Make sure Members of Parliament understand what is at stake. Expressing your opposition before the second reading could lead to the Bill being defeated or withdrawn.
 
The CCR contributed to an information and action kit by the Income Security Advocacy Centre (of Ontario).

Take a look and take action: http://www.incomesecurity.org/documents/BillC-585-InformationandActionKit-August2014.docx

  1. New restrictions on young adult children in effect since 1 August 2014

Starting 1 August 2014, immigration rules now include a narrower definition of dependent child. The maximum age has been reduced from 21 to 18 years and the exception for full-time students is eliminated.

Our key concerns include the following:
  • Unmarried children aged 19, 20 or 21 years are usually still part of the family (economically, socially and psychologically) and need their parents’ support.
  • In many societies it is difficult and even dangerous for single young women to live alone.
  • Refugees are forced to flee danger and face multiple losses and disruptions. Forcing refugees to leave their young adult children behind exposes them to risk and cause hardship for all the family.
We welcome the introduction of “lock-in dates” for people in multi-step immigration processes. For refugees who wait years for their resettlement application to be processed overseas, or for their claim in Canada to be determined, this means that they won’t be separated from their child who turns 19 during the long wait.
 
Click here for a table to explain the implications of the lock-in date
 
Read the CCR’s comments on the original proposed changes at: ccrweb.ca/sites/ccrweb.ca/files/family-changes-comments-age-dependency-jun-13.pdf
  1. Mark your calendars: Meetings in Montreal and Gatineau, webinars and more

Participants at CCR Working Group meetingsJoin us at the CCR Summer Working Group meetings in Montreal on 5 and 6 September to find out how you can stand up for refugee rights. Hear the latest on issues affecting refugees and immigrants in Canada, share information and ideas with others and find out how you can be a part of efforts to promote rights for refugees in the months to come.

We encourage everyone to take part; however, the meetings are closed to media and government. There is no cost to participate. No registration is necessary and first-time participants are welcome (you don't have to be with a CCR member organization).

The meeting schedule is:
FRIDAY 5 SEPTEMBER:
9:30am - 5pm: Overseas Protection & Sponsorship Working Group meeting

SATURDAY 6 SEPTEMBER:
9:30am - 5pm: Inland Protection Working Group meeting
9:30am - 5pm: Immigration and Settlement Working Group meeting

For more information about the Working Group meetings, including location and how to get there: ccrweb.ca/meetings

CCR Fall Consultation, 27-29 November, Gatineau
Join us to explore questions affecting refugee protection and newcomer settlement at the Canadian Council for Refugee Fall Consultation in Gatineau, Quebec from 27-29 November. Sessions will focus on creating stronger connections between regions and bridging barriers for greater refugee and immigrant success.
 
For information and to register online (starting mid-September 2014): ccrweb.ca/meetings

CCR webinars return this fall
A new season of CCR webinars starts 17 September with an encore presentation of Mitigating Barriers to Housing, Setting the Foundation for Settlement from the CCR Spring Consultation in Halifax. Click here to register.

CCR members can participate in webinars free-of-charge (log in to your account on the CCR website before you register here)

If you are not with a CCR member organization, you can participate for $25 per connection per webinar. Click here to register.
 
For information about other upcoming CCR webinars, see: ccrweb.ca/en/webinars

  1. Changes to ccrweb.ca, the CCR website
We've made some changes to the CCR website: ccrweb.ca If you have trouble accessing the website, make sure the links in your browser use http (and not https).

URL addresses for many files on the website have also changed. If you manage a website with links to ccrweb.ca or if you share links and files from the website, please doublecheck them.

If you find any other errors when using the CCR website, please send an email to jdench@ccrweb.ca
  1. New from the CCR

Upcoming Meetings

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

Fall Consultation 2014, Thursday, 27 November - Saturday, 29 November 2014, Gatineau

Winter Working Group meetings, Friday, 28 February and Saturday, 1 March 2015, Toronto

Spring Consultation 2015, Thursday, 21 May - Saturday, 23 May 2015, Winnipeg