Canadian Council for Refugees E-Chronicle, Vol. 10 no. 7, 8 December 2015

CCR Chronicle

Canadian Council for Refugees E-Chronicle Vol. 10 #7, 8 December 2015

In this issue:

  1. 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.

For more information, including links to the CCR’s submissions to the Court,

  1. 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

To read the complete statement, go to:

  1. 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).
Read the official government statement
To read why the CCR has been calling for a stop to removals to Burundi, read:
For stories of people affected by this decision, click here.

  1. 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:

  1. 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.
CCR members also passed a series of resolutions, now available on the CCR website.
Read some select media coverage of the Consultation:

Single Syrian men 'will be coming,' top official says

Canadian Council of Refugees holds consultation in Hamilton

Hamilton groups preparing to receive Syrian refugees still waiting for numbers

Upcoming Meetings

Winter Working Group meetings
26 - 27 February 2016

CCR Spring Consultation
2 - 4 June 2016

CCR Fall Consultation
24 - 26 November 2016