- Most refugee claimants have no financial source other than their own work. They arrive in Canada with no money and have no family or friends in Canada to assist them financially. They are consequently highly vulnerable and desperate;
- Refugee claimants cannot receive a work permit without first being medically cleared. It takes a minimum of 2 months from the time a doctor sends the medical results to CIC to the time that CIC actually enters the medical results in the CIC computer system;
- Once the medical results are entered into the CIC system and a work permit application is filed with CPC-Vegreville it takes another 2 to 3 months before Vegreville issues the work permit;
- Until a work permit is issued, refugee claimants are ineligible for Social Insurance Numbers which, in turn, prevents them from accessing other community services;
Therefore be it resolved
That the CCR:
- Write to CIC to request that CPC-Vegreville be instructed to give the processing of refugee claimants' work permits a priority in order to avoid an extended period of undue hardship and vulnerability; and that the work permits issued be for a minimum of one year.
- Write to CIC to request an increase in resources to CPC-Vegreville and to medical services to allow for priority processing of work permit applications.
- Send copies of these letters to the relevant provincial authorities.
- Request that CPC-Vegreville be instructed to stop the practice of setting an arbitrary date for leaving Canada under the Conditions of Issue.