Canadian Council for Refugees E-Chronicle Vol. 9 #7, 3 November 2014

CCR Chronicle

Vol. 9 no. 7, 3 November 2014

In this issue:

  1. Budget bill targets refugees at their most vulnerable

The new omnibus budget bill could lead to newly arrived refugees being deprived of social assistance.

Provisions in Bill C-43 would allow provinces to impose residency requirements for access to social assistance for refugee claimants and other people without permanent status in Canada. Currently, the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act prohibits any minimum period of residency requirement for access to social assistance benefits.

This could leave newly-arrived refugee claimants without any means to survive, at precisely the time when they are most vulnerable.

To find out more, read:


To hear about the possible impacts, listen to Karim and Loly at:


  1. Refugee healthcare: Government must restore access now, says court

Refugee healthcareWe have some good news on the fight for refugee healthcare in the courts. Although the federal government is appealing the July 2014 Federal Court ruling to strike down cuts to healthcare for refugees, the Federal Court of Appeal has denied the government's request for a stay (postponement) while the appeal is being heard.

This means that the government must restore healthcare for refugees starting Wednesday 5 November. The appeal will continue, so it may be a temporary victory, but it is an important victory.

For more information about this latest ruling and what it means, see:
For an overview of the July Federal Court ruling, see:

  1. Death of Lucia Vega Jimenez: Oversight of border agency needed

The CCR welcomes many of the recommendations at the inquest into the death of Lucia Vega Jimenez while in the hands of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Canada’s border police.
Many of the recommendations from the Coroner’s inquest are in line with the CCR’s own recommendations to ensure the fair and accountable treatment of migrants in CBSA detention. The CCR also continues to call for an independent oversight body for the agency.
For more information, see:
  1. Register now for CCR Fall Consultation, National Forum on Trafficking in Persons, Training on applications to the Refugee Appeal Division

CCR Fall ConsultationJoin us at the CCR Fall Consultation to explore questions affecting refugee protection and newcomer settlement and to hear from speakers like François Crépeau, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants.
Conference discussions will address issues that challenge refugees, immigrants, advocates and community workers. Register before 7 November to take advantage of the reduced fees!
Workshop topics include:
  • Urgent protection and refugee resettlement
  • The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and limits of authority
  • Access to healthcare
  • The Syrian-Iraqi refugee crisis: Canada’s response
  • Dealing with problematic lawyers or consultants
  • Protection for refugees in countries of first asylum
  • How the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) works
  • Proud to Protect Refugees: What should we say and do?
… and many others

There’s more! On 26 November join discussions on trafficking issues (National Forum on Trafficking Issues) and an afternoon training on applications to the Refugee Appeal Division by the FCJ Refugee Centre.
Information about the consultation and online registration are available at: 
  1. Next CCR webinar: 12 November - Training on humanitarian and compassionate applications

RVasavithasanThis webinar with Rathika Vasavithasan will give an overview of the Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) Evidence Gathering Toolkit developed by the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic for services providers to help their clients, women who have experienced violence.
Find answers to questions when gathering evidence in applications dealing with gender-based violence, as well as when reviewing the checklist with clients. The webinar will also provides some helpful resources to assist workers and clients to gather strong supporting evidence for the H&C.
For more information and to register:
  1. Keeping the Door Open: NGOs and the refugee claim process

What support do refugee claimants need in Canada? How do we ensure access to support for all who need it? We hope our new report Keeping the Door Open: NGOs and the refugee claim process sparks discussion on these questions and more.
Community organizations offer critical, but often underfunded, support to refugees negotiating Canada’s determination process and surviving their first months in Canada.
Read the report and share it with others. Help keep the dream alive of a Canada with doors open to refugees and others seeking protection.
  1. New from the CCR

Upcoming Meetings

National Forum on Trafficking Issues, Wednesday, 26 November 2014, Gatineau
Fall Consultation 2014, Thursday, 27 November - Saturday, 29 November 2014, Gatineau

Winter Working Group meetings, Friday, 27 February and Saturday 28 February 2015, Toronto

Spring Consultation 2015, Thursday 21 May - Saturday 23 May, Winnipeg

Upcoming Webinars

Wednesday 12 November: Training on humanitarian and compassionate applications