Bill C-43, the omnibus budget bill tabled on 23 October 2014, contains provisions that would allow provinces to reduce access to social assistance for refugee claimants and other people without permanent status in Canada.
If this bill is passed there could be major consequences for refugee claimants and others without permanent status, as well as new challenges for organizations serving them.
The CCR's concerns are outlined in a media release, Budget bill targets refugees at their most vulnerable.
The provisions are the same as those found in Bill C-585, a private member's bill.
See this backgrounder for detailed information.
It is important for groups to take action right now, to make sure that Members of Parliament understand the issue and appreciate the potential consequences. Expressing opposition before Second Reading could lead to the Bill being defeated or withdrawn.
- Have your organization sign an open letter opposing the provisions. Deadline to sign on Friday November 7. For a copy of the letter, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Submit a written brief, or asked to be heard by the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, which will be studying the provisions relating to social assistance for refugee claimants. They will conclude their study by 21 November.
- Amnesty International, Denying Social Assistance to Refugee Claimants Violates International Law: Bill C-585 Must be Withdrawn, 22 October 2014
- CBC: The Current, Refugee advocates say omnibus bill will cut off refugees from social services
- Canadian Association of Social Workers, Unwelcome to Canada, media release, 28 October 2014