Canadian Council for Refugees E-Chronicle, Vol. 10 no. 8, 7 January 2016

CCR Chronicle

Canadian Council for Refugees E-Chronicle
Vol. 10 #8, 7 January 2016

In this issue:

  1. Promoting Family Reunification

Join the Canadian Council for Refugees in promoting speedy family reunification.

Catherine is desperately trying to be reunited with her two young daughters (3 and 5 years old).

Catherine had to flee her country of origin because of her work as a women’s rights activist. She has been recognized as a refugee in Canada but she must wait for immigration processing before she can be reunited with her two daughters left behind in Africa.

Current processing times for the region are 3 and a half years (41 months)!

Join the Canadian Council for Refugees in promoting speedy family reunification:

  • Write your MP to ask for Express Entry Family Reunification for Catherine’s children and all other children separated from their parents
  • Donate today to the CCR to help us reunite refugee families.

Take action today at:

  1. Upcoming Webinar - 
    Intersections: Violence against women and immigration policy

This two-part webinar will offer a framework that challenges the notion that violence against women is rooted in culture and explore the intersections of immigration policy and violence against women. 

The presenters will look at the political and practical implications of newcomer women's migration status and their experience of gender-based violence, and offer tools and resources for front-line workers supporting newcomer women in situations of violence. 

Part I –Wednesday 20 January 2016, 2-3 pm (Eastern time)

Part II – Wednesday 27 January 2016, 2-3 pm (Eastern time)
Webinars are free for CCR members. For non-members the cost is $25 per connection per webinar or 35$ to attend both webinars.

More information at:

  1. Rebuilding a warm Canadian response to refugees from around the world

The CCR recently issued a statement wecoming the outpouring of warmth and hospitality towards Syrian refugees demonstrated by countless Canadians, including by offers of private sponsorship.

At the same time the new federal government has made refugees a priority, as shown by their undertakings to resettle Syrian refugees and the inclusion of refugees in the title of the Minister and his department (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship). Provincial and municipal governments have also shown leadership in their welcome of refugees.

The strong responses of all levels of government, of the labour, business, community sectors as well as of civil society offer Canada an unprecedented opportunity to reclaim the best parts of our traditions in opening the doors to refugees.

As we prepare to celebrate in 2016 the 30th anniversary of the award of the Nansen Medal to the “People of Canada” for contributions to the cause of refugees, the CCR highlights some of the key challenges to be met to ensure that our response is effective.
Read more at:

  1. Supreme Court decision on humanitarian decisions welcomed

In December the Supreme Court issued a decision (Kanthasamy) clarifying how immigration officers should decide applications for humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) consideration. The CCR welcomed the decision. Many refugees and vulnerable migrants must rely on H&C provisions in order to remain in Canada or to be reunited with family members.

The Court favoured a flexible and responsive approach to H&C and rejected the rigid application of narrow guidelines. The ruling should help to ensure that the situation of applicants is fully and appropriately considered, rather than being limited by rigid application of a specific test (“unusual and undeserved hardship”). The Kanthasamy decision reinforces the need to give priority to seriously considering the best interests of the child.

This is particularly welcome as H&C decisions have in the past sometimes been so restrictive in the analysis of the best interests of the child as to be largely meaningless.

More at:

  1. Have you heard rumours that refugees in Canada receive greater assistance from the government than pensioners?

For many years, a persistent chain email has been circulating claiming that refugees receive significantly more money in income assistance than Canadians collecting a pension.  The information, which is based on a letter published in the Toronto Star, is false. The record has been set straight by the federal government and the Canadian Council for Refugees.

More on this at:


  1. Call for participation: CCR youth network refugee project

As part of a joint CCR-Amnesty International refugee awareness campaign, the CCR Youth Network is launching a national youth project to highlight the faces and voices of former refugees.

We are looking for:

  • Newcomer youth from across Canada who want to get involved.
  • Refugee-serving organizations willing to support newcomer youth  participating in this project.
  • Photographers willing to support and mentor participating newcomer youth.

Upcoming Meetings

Winter Working Group meetings
26 - 27 February 2016

CCR Spring Consultation
2 - 4 June 2016

CCR Fall Consultation
24 - 26 November 2016