Family reunification

Resolution number
  1. The Canadian Immigration Act and the Québec immigration law state that family reunification is a central objective of the Canadian and Québec immigration programs;
  2. Canada has signed and ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, all of which affirm the principle of family unity and that the family is entitled to protection by society and the state;
  3. The CCR has published an extensive report on family reunification and has passed various resolutions calling for the elimination of barriers to family reunification;
  4. The federal government continues to make changes in the Family Class regulations which serve to create further delays and barriers to reunification (i.e.. recent changes announced on March 18, 1997) and the Québec government has tightened the financial requirements for sponsors and has recently implemented a repayment program for defaulting sponsors without regard to their present financial situation;
Therefore be it resolved

That the CCR call on the Government of Canada to:

  1. Repeal the amendments of March 18, 1997 to the Family Sponsorship regulations;
  2. Initiate a process of consultative meetings with the CCR and concerned communities to revise the Family Sponsorship Regulations in a manner consistent with Canada's international human rights obligations;
  3. Recognize both in legislation and in policy implementation that family unity is the cornerstone of healthy and effective settlement for refugees and immigrants;
  4. Ensure that legislation, policy and regulations consider the importance of family unity on the successful settlement and long-term contribution of vulnerable groups such as survivors of torture and trauma, women at risk, and others who come to Canada under humanitarian programs;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the CCR call on the Government of Québec to review, in collaboration with the settlement agencies, its policy on defaulting sponsors to ensure that standards of fairness and equity are maintained in all situations.

Working Group
Immigration and Settlement