Press release (7 March 2007)
Press Release (26 September 2006)
Report - Lives on Hold - the Limits of H&C (Sept. 06)
Press Release (9 May 2006)
Communications and Networking Coordinator
(514) 277-7223, ext. 1
Canada recognizes that it is not safe to return people to countries where there is generalized insecurity and it imposes a moratorium on removals...
...but nationals of these countries are left in legal limbo, without the permanent status necessary so that they can get on with their lives.
Your voice makes a difference! Join our call to the government to grant permanent residence to persons from countries to which Canada has suspended removals.
About the campaign:
Canada has long imposed a moratorium on removals to eight countries: Afghanistan, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Liberia, Rwanda and Zimbabwe, in recognition of the situation of generalized insecurity reigning in these countries (the moratoria were lifted July 23, 2009 in the case of Burundi, Liberia and Rwanda). While nationals of these countries are not removed, they are not necessarily able to obtain permanent residence status, even after many years here. Several thousand people in Canada are currently living in this limbo - some for more than 10 years.
Living in this limbo causes many serious hardships. People from moratorim countries cannot reunite with family members, even their spouses and children, who were left behind in the country of origin. Students from moratoria countries are unable to register for post-secondary education. Workers from moratoria countries face limited legal employment opportunities. Only emergency medical care is provided for people from moratoria countries. Even though people from moratorium countries pay the same taxes as Canadian citizens, they are ineligible to receive child tax benefits.
On Tuesday, May 9th 2006 in Ottawa, Members of Parliament, representatives of the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR), the Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes (TCRI), the Ligue des droits et libertés and people from moratoria countries living in limbo joined together for a Day of Action, calling on the government to grant permanent status to people from moratoria countries. Events included the tabling of a petition with more than 4,400 signatures in the House of Commons, meetings with MPs to discuss the importance of this issue and a press conference. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration also responded to a question in the House of Commons on the lives on hold.
The Lives on Hold petition calls on the Canadian government to establish a process to facilitate the granting of permanent residence to persons who have been in Canada for more than three years and who are from countries on which Canada has imposed a moratorium on removals. A big thank you to everyone who helped to collect signatures! We are still collecting more signatures and we invite you to help us by circulating the petition.
What you can do (in 5 minutes or less!):
- Write a letter to Minister of Citizenship and Immigration requesting her to introduce measures to grant permanent status to people from moratorium countries who have been in Canada for three years.
Report - Lives on Hold: Nationals of Moratoria Countries Living in Limbo, July 2005
Report - Lives on Hold - the Limits of H&C, 26 September 2006
Copy of the Lives on Hold Petition
DVD copies of 'Lives on Hold - Des vies en suspens' (10 min 35 sec), a bilingual film (English-French) are available. This is a great tool that presents the challenges and the voices of nationals of moratoria countries who are living in limbo. To obtain a copy at $5.00 (includes shipping and handling), call or send an email to Colleen French at firstname.lastname@example.org (1-514-277-7223) with your name, postal address, and credit card details (payments can also be made by cheque to the CCR).
Fact sheet for nationals of Burundi, Liberia and Rwanda without permanent status in Canada (information following the lifting on 23 July 2009 of the moratoria for these three countries).
Message to Burundians, Rwandans and Liberians, 21 December 2009