The CCR reacts to Supreme Court decision on people smuggling
The CCR welcomed a recent Supreme Court decision that it is not a crime to help refugees find safety (Appulonappa). The Court found that people smuggling cannot be defined to include people helping refugees on humanitarian grounds or refugees helping each other. In another linked case, the Supreme Court made a similar ruling with respect to inadmissibility on the basis of people smuggling (B010). The CCR was an intervener in these cases.
In the midst of the Syrian refugee crisis, when Canadians are acutely aware of refugees’ need for protection, these decisions are particularly timely.
They make clear that under Canadian law humanitarian workers and
refugees who aid others in the flight to safety will not be subject to prosecution or be found inadmissible under immigration rules, on the basis of these actions.
The CCR joins organizations across Canada welcoming plan to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees
The CCR joined other national, regional and provincial umbrellas of organizations serving newcomers across Canada in welcoming the federal government’s plans to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada over the coming months.
We are confident in Canada’s capacity to welcome the Syrian refugees joining our communities. As a country, we have a great deal of experience in welcoming refugees.
We have existing programs to support resettled refugees and the organizations directly involved are eager to expand their capacity to respond to the increased numbers in the coming months.
Issues highlighted in a recent joint statement include the needs:
for urgent resettlement
for all levels of government, institutions, community organizations and individual citizens to respond
to recognize the diversity among the refugees being resettled to Canada
to continue to respond to refugees from elsewhere
to acknowledge the roles of Indigenous peoples and to give Syrian newcomers
better information about diverse Aboriginal Peoples, including about the Treaties and the history of residential schools.
to address racism, sexism and islamophobia within Canadian society that compromise our ability to be a welcoming country for refugees
to provide avenues for Syrian Canadians - to bring family members to safety
to review transportation loans for all resettled refugees
Suspension of removals to Burundi: please share with those affected
The CCR welcomes the recent decision by the federal government to suspend removals to Burundi, based on the situation of insecurity in that country. The CCR has been calling for suspension of removals to Burundi since June 2015.
The CCR is preparing an information resource to help affected persons understand that this means for them. (Check back on our website in a few days).
For stories of people affected by this decision, click here.
Launch of ‘Refugees Welcome Here’ campaign
The CCR and Amnesty International are launching a campaign to show that refugees are welcome here.
Help us build on the strong public response and willingness to resettle Syrian refugees. We plan to:
provide you with the resources you need to communicate that all refugees are welcome (banners, posters, workshops, information pieces, including ones to rebut myths, resources for public events, social media assets and more).
provide training sessions to equip you to participate fully in the campaign
encourage local communities to mobilize in favour of refugees
seek out refugee champions (both people who have been refugees and community leaders who can speak out in support of refugees)
highlight the voices and contributions of refugees
involve youth actively in the campaign
Key campaign dates will be Refugee Rights Day (April 4 2016) and June 2016 in recognition of World Refugee Day
We are looking for your suggestions as we plan the campaign. Please tell us about resources needed, ideas for activities, potential allies and sources of additional funding by filling in the form at: ccrweb.ca/en/refugees-welcome-here-sign-up
Conclusions from Canadian Council for Refugees national Fall Consultation, Hamilton, 26-28 November 2015
More than 350 people participated in the recent CCR Fall Consultation in Hamilton on the theme of Courage, contributions, resilience.
CCR President Loly Rico was elected to a second term at the Annual General Meeting concluding the consultation.