CCR welcomes the withdrawal of refugee provisions from budget legislation

Press release

6 June 2024

CCR welcomes the withdrawal of refugee provisions from budget legislation 

The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) welcomes the withdrawal from the Budget Implementation Act (BIA) of amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, including those that would make significant changes to Canada’s refugee determination system. This is an incredible win for the CCR membership and the direct result of collective action in opposition to the sweeping changes introduced with the BIA.

A proposed change of particular concern to the CCR was the creation of a new step in the refugee determination process, imposing new requirements and introducing potential new delays before the refugee claim was even referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board. The provisions appeared to have been hastily crafted and would have led to devastating unintended consequences, particularly for the people seeking Canada’s protection who are most vulnerable. In addition to this, we were dismayed at the choice of including in an omnibus budget bill sweeping changes to the refugee system that would have affected people’s fundamental rights, including their right not to be sent back to persecution. 

We are grateful to Parliamentarians, for their careful and thoughtful study of the refugee and immigration provisions of the legislation, and we appreciate the leadership from MPs from the NDP and Bloc opposition parties and Senators for challenging this undemocratic process. 

The CCR agrees in principle with the objective of streamlining the initial stage of the claims process but maintains that any proposed changes should first be subject to consultation and then presented in a stand-alone piece of legislation. We stand ready to work with the government on more suitable solutions.

Our grave concerns remain about the proposed use of federal correctional facilities for holding individuals detained under immigration law. We are pleased to see at least that MPs have approved legislative limits on who may be transferred to correctional facilities, as well as the firm sunsetting of the provisions after five years.

Immigration detention is an administrative measure – those subject to the measure should not be treated as criminals, nor should they be held in facilities designed for people who have been convicted of a crime. We remain committed to engaging with Parliamentarians to challenge the amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act in Division 39.  

More information

CCR’s brief on BIA


Tanja Maleska, Co-Executive Director, Canadian Council for Refugees. 514-549-8244,

About the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR)

The Canadian Council for Refugees is a leading voice for the rights, protection, sponsorship, settlement, and well-being of refugees and migrants, in Canada and globally. Founded in 1978, the CCR is driven by over 200 member organizations working with, from and for these communities from coast to coast to coast.

Committed to social justice and transformation by challenging racism, colonialism and intersecting oppressions, we undertake policy monitoring, advocacy, network building, and public education to empower members and communities to bring about systemic change.