Resolutions adopted November 2018

1. Root causes of forced displacement

Whereas:
  1. Eliminating root causes has been recognized by the Global Compact on Refugees as the most effective way to achieve solutions through resolving protracted refugee situations and preventing new crises from emerging;
  2. Canada is implicated in some root causes of forced displacement in many countries in the world;
Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR should, in a systemic manner, incorporate consideration of root causes into its work.

2. Artificial Intelligence

Whereas:
  1. The Canadian government has shown an interest in integrating artificial intelligence (AI) in decision-making in immigration and refugee matters;
  2. These far-reaching technologies may have a huge impact on the lives of refugees and immigrants;
Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR advocate with the Canadian government to ensure that:

  1. Any use of artificial intelligence which may be adopted by the Canadian government, including IRCC, CBSA and IRB, respect international and domestic human rights law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
  2. The government provides transparency regarding current practices and future uses of AI, independent oversight mechanisms, and any new binding standards;
  3. The government consults with the CCR, civil society, academia, policy makers, advocates, and most importantly, affected groups before moving forward with any AI initiatives.

3. Disaggregated Data

Whereas:
  1. The CCR has two resolutions on poverty Racialization of poverty (Res.: 1 , Nov 2016) and Poverty circumstances of Government-Assisted Refugees (Res.: 2 , Nov 2005)
  2. Federal, provincial and territorial government legislation and policies should be based on sound evidence (including, but not limited to demographic and user data) that is representative of the experiences of all residents of Canada;
  3. Publicly available census and other administrative data is not representative of all residents of Canada;
Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR call on federal, provincial and territorial governments to:

  1. Collect and make publicly available full access to disaggregated data;
  2. Ensure that legislation and policies that impact on poverty are informed by disaggregated data.

4. Poverty Reduction

Whereas:
  1. People with precarious immigration status disproportionately experience poverty, homelessness and underhousing, food insecurity and income insecurity;
  2. Federal, provincial and territorial poverty reduction legislation, policies and strategies implicitly  exclude migrant workers and people with precarious immigration status by not naming them;
Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR call on federal, provincial and territorial governments to explicitly include all residents of Canada in poverty reduction measures, including migrant workers, refugee claimants and other residents with precarious immigration status.

5. Eliminating barriers to Canadian citizenship

Whereas:
  1. The Citizenship Act requires “adequate” knowledge of English or French, and of Canada and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship; these requirements are translated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to require:
    1. up-front proof of Canadian Language Benchmark Level 4/ Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) niveau 4, and
    2. achieving a score of at least 15/20 on the citizenship exam which can only be written in English or French;
  2. Women, refugees, and sponsored spouses’ applications for Canadian citizenship are disproportionately refused because of these particular requirements;
  3. There are several known factors that impede additional language acquisition including: trauma; low literacy in one’s first language; lack of access to formal education; first language distance from English/French, and socio-economic needs;
  4. The current “compassionate waiver” framework from these requirements emphasizes the need to prove a permanent medical condition through completion of a Medical Opinion Form;
  5. Challenging citizenship refusals requires obtaining leave from the Federal Court, and therefore the need to hire a lawyer;
  6. The citizenship fee has tripled in the past 5 years, and is now $630 for adults.
Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR call upon the Canadian government to:

  1. Ensure the administration of the citizenship regime conforms with the Act to:
    1. Reduce the language and knowledge requirements to the “adequacy” required;
    2. Ensure broad compassionate discretion in the assessment of waivers from language and knowledge requirements, and eliminate the Medical Opinion Form.
  1.  Amend the Citizenship Act to:
    1. Remove the English/French language requirement for writing the citizenship exam
    2. Revert to the ability of citizenship applicants to challenge a refusal in Federal Court as of right, given the importance of the rights at stake.
    3. Eliminate the fee.