14. Delaying the day

Jun 2005
  1. The IRB will not conduct any refugee determination hearings until claimants have received security clearances;
  2. IRPA requires that hearings be held expeditiously;

Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR request the IRB to set a strict 6 month time limit for delaying a hearing to allow for the security clearance, so that refugee claimants who are ready to proceed can have their hearings in a timely manner as required by IRPA.

Working Group:

21. Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC)

Dec 2001
  1. In June 2000, CCR called for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and CIC to immediately implement the recommendations in the SIRC report concerning three complaints made by people suffering delays in landing for security reasons, and the responses to CCR by both the Solicitor General and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration noted that “decisions on admissibility rest with CIC”, not with CSIS;
  2. The recommendations of SIRC appear to have had no effective role in modifying CSIS recommendations to CIC in this case;
  3. Although one of these complainants has been responded to positively, the other two cases remain unresolved at the present time;
  4. Bill C-36 greatly expands the ability of Canadian authorities to deem someone a “terrorist” and an organization a “terrorist organization;”
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Call on the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to introduce legislation to expand the authority of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) to review security certificates issued not only against Canadian citizens, but also those issued against permanent residents, Convention refugees and refugee claimants;
  2. Call on the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to instruct her officials that, where SIRC has heard a complaint against CSIS and issued a report, the report be given primacy in the Department’s decisions with regard to admissibility;
  3. Call on the Solicitor General to introduce legislation to expand the authority of SIRC such that SIRC be empowered to review and issue binding reports on the government’s listing of “terrorist organizations” under Bill C-36.
Working Group:

8. Security issues

Jun 2000
  1. Refugees and immigrants who apply for permanent residence are required to undergo security screening by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the security review unit of the Department of Citizenship & Immigration (SRU);
  2. Refugees and immigrants often face undue delays in acquiring permanent residence status as a result of prolonged security screenings by CSIS and SRU;
  3. The security screening process remains unfair and intimidating to many refugees and immigrants, particularly since many cannot obtain information about the status of their applications or reasons for long delays;
  4. The CCR adopted Resolution 13 of May 1998 and Resolution 13 of November 1998 on landing delays for security reasons and assessments;
  5. Refugees and immigrants who question the integrity, fairness, duration, and impact of the security screening process can file a complaint with the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC);
  6. SIRC is mandated to investigate such complaints and make recommendations thereon;
  7. Such complaints have been filed with SIRC and in April 2000, SIRC issued reports on its findings with recommendations;
  8. The SIRC reports unequivocally exonerated the complainants and made a number of recommendations;
  9. These recommendations included a recommendation that complainants’ applications for permanent residence be processed for landing;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR call on:

  1. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and CIC to immediately implement the recommendations in these SIRC reports, including landing for the complainants;
  2. The Solicitor General and Director of CSIS to immediately implement the recommendations in the reports;
  3. CIC to promptly land individuals whom CSIS or SIRC has recommended for landing;
  4. CIC to refer an applicant for permanent residence whose application has been delayed for more than two years for security reasons to SIRC for review and recommendations with respect to landing.
Working Group:

13. National security assessments

Nov 1998
  1. The CCR supports the right of the Canadian government to deny refuge to people who have committed crimes against humanity and to others who pose serious national security threats, except where refoulement is in contravention of the Convention Against Torture or where there will be a risk of capital punishment;
  2. It is the right and duty of the state to ensure that a just system for identifying such persons is in place;
  3. The definitions in the Immigration Act relating to inadmissibility on the basis of security are over-broad;
  4. Decisions regarding security inadmissibility are made without respecting the due process rights of those affected;
  5. There is no time limit within which a decision may be made, leading to indefinite delays for some of those affected;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR call on the Canadian Government to:

  1. Introduce a system for identifying potential security risks with:

    a)a right to a hearing before an independent decision-maker for those alleged to be inadmissible on security grounds;

    b)protection of due process rights;

    c)an obligation to render a decision within a fixed time frame;

  2. Amend the Immigration Act to give a more precise definition of security risk.
Working Group:

13. Landing delays for security reasons

May 1998
  1. There are Convention Refugees, particularly Iranians, who have applied for landing and had CSIS interviews but have had their landing held up for years in the Security Reviews in case management;
  2. They are unable to travel outside Canada, sponsor family or pursue post-secondary education;
Therefore be it resolved:

That CCR request a meeting between CIC and the CCR and affected communities to discuss landing delays for security reasons.

Working Group:

22. Security certificate process

Nov 1996
  1. The process under article 40.1 of the Immigration Act provides for mandatory detention when the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Solicitor-General have signed a security certificate for people who may be refugees or refugee claimants.
  2. The person cited in these security certificates does not have the right to know the evidence against them.
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Condemn the security certificate process and particularly the provisions for mandatory detention without review and asks for the immediate repeal of this section of the Act.
  2. Urge the Government of Canada to suspend immediately the use of these provisions which clearly violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canada's international human rights obligations;
  3. Call upon the Canadian Bar Association and human rights NGOs to condemn these procedures which violate fundamental human rights.
Working Group:

8. Inadmissibility and national security

May 1995
  1. There have been many refugees found ineligible for government or private sponsorship because of unreasonable decisions by visa officers concerning issues pursuant to S. 19 (1)(e) and S. 19 (1)(f),(k) and (l) of the Immigration Act;
  2. The exception set out in 19(1)(f) establishes no procedure to determine whether a refugee is "detrimental to the national interest";
  3. The phrase "detrimental to the national interest" is too vague and uncertain and needs to be defined;
Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR call on the Minister to:

  1. Establish a fair procedure to determine if the applicant has met the exceptions set out in 19(f) and (l) and create similar exceptions for subsections (e) and (k);
  2. Define what is meant by the phrase "detrimental to the national interest" in order to avoid vagueness and uncertainty;
  3. Allow a review of these decisions by an independent and impartial tribunal such as the IRB.