28 February 2018
The CCR welcomes Budget 2018’s additional resources for refugee determination and increased government resettlement
The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) welcomes the additional resources provided in the 2018 Budget for refugee determination at the Immigration and Refugee Board, which will allow refugee claimants to be heard sooner.
“People who claim protection from Canada have a right to be heard within a reasonable time,” said Claire Roque, CCR President. “The sooner claimants have a decision, the sooner they can contribute to their full potential to Canadian society.”
The number of refugee claims made in Canada has increased significantly in the last two years, but the numbers of decision-makers at the Immigration and Refugee Board, both at the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) and at the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD), have not increased. As a result, a large backlog has been developing. Budget 2018 addresses this gap by providing $74 million over two years for refugee processing at the RPD and RAD.
The CCR also welcomes the new funding to be used to resettle an extra 1,000 women and girls a year as Government-Assisted Refugees. Canada’s current commitment is set at the disappointingly low level of 7,500 Government-Assisted Refugees in 2018. The additional 1,000 spaces is a step in the right direction, although still far short of the goal of 20,000 annually that the CCR calls upon Canada to resettle.
Other welcome elements in the budget include additional money for refugees to access legal aid, support for racialized newcomer women, and funding through the Multiculturalism Program to address racism in Canada, particularly against Black Canadians.