Racist immigration report attacking somali community

Resolution number: 
21
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. Irreparable damage has been done to the Somali people in Canada as a result of an explicitly racist, anti-islamic and anti-refugee report by A. Lelievre of the Intelligence Unit;
  2. The November 12 declaration of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Sergio Marchi, fails to respond adequately to the report and its implications in the community;
  3. Refugee communities remain vulnerable to scapegoating during times of severe economic recession, and therefore rely on government to deflect such attacks;
  4. This incident has had a particularly traumatizing impact on Somali refugee women, particularly single mothers, who have experienced increased harassment from welfare officers in recent months;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That:

  1. The CCR write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to demand a full enquiry with disclosure into the mandate of the Intelligence Unit, the mandate and history of the Welfare and Refugee Fraud (W.A.R.F.) project, and the extent to which other refugee communities have been singled out;
  2. The CCR demand that the Intelligence Unit cease the W.A.R.F. project and request the Minister to indicate what disciplinary action has been taken against the author of the offending report;
  3. The CCR write Ontario Liberal leader, the Honourable Lyn McLeod, to demand that she issue an apology to the Somali and refugee communities for her unsubstantiated allegations, which generated considerable negative publicity;
  4. The CCR complain to the Canadian Human Rights Commissioner concerning the actions of Lyn McLeod, the Immigration Intelligence Unit and the official responsible for the report, A. Lelievre;
  5. The CCR make or facilitate a complaint to the Canadian and/or Provincial Press Council for the unfounded and inflammatory articles by Moira Farrow in the Vancouver Sun.
  6. The CCR urge the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to institute a full investigation of the extent of racism and discrimination against visible minority people by Immigration officials in his department and develop plans for the elimination of racism in the department and that this plan include implementation of employment equity.
Working Group: 
Inland Protection