Chronicle 10 June 2015

Vol. 10 no. 2, 10 June 2015

In this issue:


1. Photovoice: Discover the voices of newcomer youth!

The CCR Youth Network is proud to present its national PhotoVoice initiative. 

PhotoVoice combines photography with grassroots social action and allows groups to take control of how they are presented in the media and to the world. 

Visit our PhotoVoice blog to see the results of projects led by groups of newcomer youth and allies across the country:

Are you inspired? Help the CCR to continue to support newcomer youth speaking up:


2. Refugees face intolerable delays waiting for family reunification

The CCR has published the stories of several refugee families waiting years for Canadian immigration processing:

  • A husband and children, already targeted politically, are caught up in the current escalating violence in Burundi. While waiting for immigration processing, a daughter, then aged 7 years, was sexually assaulted.
  • A 9 year old boy, living with his sick grandmother, is at risk of forced gang recruitment. He tells his mother: “I am so sad. I miss you. I want to be with you in Canada. When can I come?”

Processing times for family members of refugees overseas are 31 months. Many of those affected are children.

The CCR is calling for an Express Entry program for family reunification to ensure that children are reunited with their parents in six months or less.

Read the profiles at

3. Islamophobia and discrimination targeting newcomer youth

At the recent CCR Spring Consultation, participants adopted a resolution drawing attention to the growing Islamophobia and racist discrimination that disproportionately target newcomer youth.

The resolution calls for increased funding for newcomer youth services, and encourages organizations to taken on youth engagement and youth-led programming, including by holding regular youth-directed information sessions. 

4. Implementation of Citizenship Act changes

Important changes to the Citizenship Act come into effect June 11. These include changes that will make it more difficult for many to become citizens. In particular:

- Applicants must now have been in Canada for at four years (instead of three years)
- Applicants between the ages of 14 and 64 must prove they speak English or French and pass the knowledge test (previously the ages were 18 to 54).

For CIC's announcement of the changes, see Remaining Citizenship Act reforms coming into force, 5 Jun 2015.

For CCR's position on the changes when they were before Parliament, see CCR's comments on Bill C-24

For more about citizenship, see

5. CCR receives the EH Johnson award

   Photo courtesy of the Presbyterian Record. 

The Canadian Council for Refugees is honoured to receive the EH Johnson award for "service on the cutting edge of mission". CCR President Loly Rico and Executive Director Janet Dench accepted the award and spoke about the CCR's work at the E.H. Johnson Award Luncheon held in Vancouver June 6, during the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada.


6. Celebrate World Refugee Day by joining a Walk with Refugees


Communities across Canada have organized "Walks with refugees". To find out about events near you, go to