Resolutions adopted November 1998

Whereas:
  1. Civic participation, including taking out citizenship, being aware of political issues and voting, is key to full participation in Canadian society;
  2. Political representation seems to be lagging behind demographic change;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR urge its members to:

  1. Actively encourage more civic participation by immigrants and refugees;
  2. Explore the development of programming to facilitate this goal.
Whereas:
  1. The Canadian Council for Refugees has promoted the involvement of NGOs in the identification of refugees overseas;
  2. Citizenship and Immigration Canada`s refugee resettlement model proposes the involvement of NGOs as overseas service partners;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR adopt as its position its paper Conditions for the Involvement of NGOs as Overseas Service Partners.

Whereas:
  1. The CCR has passed an earlier resolution that the Right of Landing Fee is discriminatory, exclusionary and racist because of the vast variance in country and individual income around the world, and is particularly burdensome for refugees;
  2. Previous to 1995 refugees were not charged interest on transportation loans, admissibility loans and assistance loans;
  3. The interest rate charged is above prime rate;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Continue to call for a repeal of the Right of Landing Fee for all newcomers accepted for landing in Canada;
  2. Insist that no interest be charged on any immigration loans;
  3. Urge the government, pending legislation to repeal interest charges, to charge no more than the prime rate.
Whereas:
  1. Some countries interpret the Refugee Convention in a narrow and technical manner denying effective protection to refugees;
  2. Canadian visa officers sometimes show too much deference to the decisions of tribunals of other countries which have refused refugee claims which under the Canadian interpretation of the Convention would be accepted;
  3. Canada's visa offices are inconsistent in their efforts to establish meaningful channels of communication with local and Canadian NGOs involved in resettlement;
  4. Canada has failed to put in place meaningful review of negative decisions despite a refusal rate significantly higher than other resettlement countries;
  5. Applicants for resettlement from some countries are deported from those countries despite having applications for resettlement to Canada pending, particularly in light of the frequent long processing times for such applications;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Call on the appropriate departments of the Government of Canada to:

     

    a)remind visa offices of the often broader interpretation of the Refugee Convention in Canadian law than that demonstrated by some other countries, particularly with respect to the absence of a requirement for persecution to be at the hands of the state;

    b)ensure that in cases where the applicant does not meet the Convention definition but has a private sponsorship that the relatively broader provisions of the Asylum Class are thoroughly considered;

    c)strengthen and regularize consultation between visa offices and local and Canadian NGOs involved in resettlement;

    d)establish and implement a meaningful review of negative decisions on resettlement cases similar to that recently adopted by US INS;

  2. Call on the Government of Canada to play a prominent role in convincing other governments to interpret the Convention in a broad manner;
  3. Ask the Government of Canada to urge other governments to allow applicants for resettlement in Canada to remain in their countries of asylum pending determination of their applications by Canada.
Whereas:

There have been numerous formal and informal complaints about the IRB procedures and members have not been treated seriously;

Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR ask that the mandate of Mr Ratushny be expanded to include the complaints process and violations of fundamental rights in all of the CRDD's regions, the details of which are to be provided by the Working Group on Refugee Protection.