1. Vicarious Trauma for frontline workers

Jun 2017
  1. There is prolonged stress on the job in serving refugees and immigrants;
  2. There is a high risk for front line workers to face vicarious trauma when working with clients;
Therefore be it resolved:

that the CCR ask federal and provincial funders of settlement services to increase funding for professional development and designate specific funds for training and support for staff in vicarious trauma, self-care, and trauma informed care.

5. Referral to services post-eligibility

Nov 2010
  1. Bill C-11 will create very tight timelines;
  2. Claimants will need assistance in understanding and preparing for the process;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR call on CIC and CBSA to adopt as a standard operating procedure the referral of claimants to appropriate and willing community agencies, such as an immigrant serving agency or legal aid, in a city or area of choice of the claimant, immediately after eligibility has been determined.

Working Group:

5. Blue Ribbon Report

May 2007
  1. Treasury Board of Canada released a Blue Ribbon Report in February 2007 recommending fundamental change and simplified administration of funding, contracts and contribution agreements;
  2. The settlement service sector has ongoing difficulties with CIC and other federal government departments on their funding practices and monitoring of contracts and contribution agreements;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR urge the Treasury Board of Canada to:

  1. Direct CIC to adhere to the Blue Ribbon Report recommendations and to be the first tier of government departments to implement recommended changes;
  2. Ensure that the recommended changes are implemented in all government departments.

5. Twinning (host)/Canada-Québec Accord

Jun 2005
  1. The Government of Québec is obliged by the Canada-Québec Accord to offer settlement and integration services that correspond overall to those offered elsewhere in Canada;
  2. The financial compensation from the federal government provided for in the Accord will go in 2005-2006 from $160 million to $180 million;
  3. The Government of Québec is refusing to account for the amounts received from the federal government;
  4. Le ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles du Québec (MICC) has decided to abolish the Québec twinning program by eliminating the specific funding for the twinning (Host) activities of settlement and integration organizations;
  5. The twinning program is the only settlement and integration program that directly involves the host society;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Send a joint letter to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and to the Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities informing them that settlement and integration organizations in Canada are concerned about the decision of the Government of Québec to no longer provide specific support for twinning activities for newcomers as is done elsewhere in Canada;
  2. Ask the Joint Committee with responsibility for the implementation of and follow up to the Accord to create a temporary committee to evaluate this loss of experience and of service for newcomers to Québec;
  3. Ask for a public accounting by the Government of Canada and the Government of Québec for the amounts spent since 2000 as part of the financial compensation transferred each year by the federal government to Quebec pour settlement and integration services for newcomers;
  4. As the Government of Québec to report on the allocation of the additional$20 million that it will receive from the federal government this year for services to newcomers.

2. Provincial devolution

Jun 2005
  1. CIC has devolved settlement responsibilities to some provinces and is in negotiations to do so with others;
  2. CIC has a responsibility to ensure comparable and accountable services to all immigrants and refugees across the country;
  3. BC has moved in policy and management directions quite distinct from CIC’s;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR work strategically to ensure that CIC exercises its responsibility in ensuring comparable and accountable services across the country, with particular reference to provinces where devolution agreements exist.

4. Settlement Allocation Model

Jun 2005

The Settlement Allocation Model has proven problematic with regards to smaller centres with high proportions of refugees, and centres receiving substantial secondary migration, and grossly inequitable for larger centres;

Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Communicate with CIC requesting that new funding for the settlement sector be allocated on the basis of the following principles:

    a)that small centres, particularly those with a high proportion of refugees to their total immigration, receive sufficient funding to maintain the capacity to meet the demand;b)centres experiencing substantial secondary migration arrivals need to receive sufficient funding to meet the resulting service demands;c)that the current 2-tiered (large region/small region) model be discontinued.

  2. Request an opportunity to hold consultations between CIC and the sector with regards to reforming/replacing the Settlement Allocation Model.

6. Improving ICAMS

May 2004

The iCAMS system has been implemented across the country, and has proven to be a major burden to agencies, and cannot produce accurate and useful reports for either agencies or CIC.

Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration insisting that CIC:

  1. Dedicate the necessary resources to bring the iCAMS system up to modern standards, so that: a) it will support database to database transfers, and b) allow for local reports production.
  2. Adjust the data collection points in consultation with the sector to bring them in line with the Accountability Framework, and to make the system’s use less burdensome for agencies.

8. Settlement funding allocation

Nov 2003
  1. The need for language training increases in communities affected by secondary migration;
  2. The new funding allocation model does not address the immediate training needs of newcomers now living in affected communities;
  3. These communities have long waiting lists for LINC classes;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR urge CIC to:

  1. Increase the overall amount of money available for immigrant services.
  2. Include a consideration of secondary migration in the calculation of the funding allocation formula.

3. Threat of open tendering

Nov 2003
  1. The province of BC is preparing a system of 'Open Tendering' for settlement services, potentially contracting private sector interests to deliver core settlement services to immigrants for profit.
  2. CIC has intentionally developed an internationally unique infrastructure of community-based immigrant settlement organizations across all provinces and territories;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR express to CIC-NHQ (Integration), CIC BC Region and the BC Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services concerns about the threat posed to service quality, accessibility, professionalism and community connectedness by 'Open tendering' and the potential transfer of settlement services away from the current network of community-based agencies.

5. Client code of service rights

Nov 2003

A CCR resolution in May 2003 supported the development of a Client Code of Rights to inform clients of their rights and outline a complaint process;

Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR endorse the following Client Code of Service Rights and encourage its use by CCR member organizations:

  1. You have the right to receive services in a trusting, respectful and supportive environment free of any form of discrimination or harassment.
  2. You have the right of privacy and confidentiality and to disclose only what you believe is necessary at any given time.
  3. Staff limits of confidentiality include: the requirement to report incidents of child abuse, to comply with a court ordered subpoena and to prevent harm.
  4. The file is the property of [Agency name] and you have the right to review it and make comments if you disagree with the contents of the file.
  5. You make decisions about your needs and goals.
  6. You have the right to refuse services at any time or to request service from an alternate person.
  7. You have the right to receive accurate, complete and timely information.
  8. You have the right to a safe, fair and transparent complaint process when you feel that your rights have been violated.

7. Double/triple reporting - ARS and ICAMS

Nov 2003
  1. The government of Canada made a commitment to Canadians for efficient program management in the document "Results for Canadians";
  2. The government of Canada made a commitment to the Voluntary Sector for rational reporting systems in the Voluntary Sector Accord and its Code of Good Practice on Funding;
  3. LINC providers in Ontario are being forced into a triple reporting structure because CIC's two computer systems, the regional ARS and the national iCAMS, are incompatible and unreliable;
  4. ISAP providers in Ontario are being forced into double reporting because NHQ and Ontario Region do not have the same reporting requirements;
  5. Both LINC and ISAP providers are forced to input large amounts of client data into systems with no capacity to assist program management;
  6. CIC provides no realistic support for this administrative burden;
Therefore be it resolved:

That CCR write to Treasury Board and CIC urging them to:

  1. Stop the implementation of iCAMS until the issues between CIC national and CIC region have been resolved.
  2. Review the iCAMS system in light of the new Voluntary Sector agreement to ensure that it conforms with the Code of Good Practices on Funding.
  3. Take into consideration CCR's previous resolutions from May 2001(Res. 1), Dec. 2000 (Res. 16) and May 1999 (Res. 4).

4. Increased settlement funding

May 2003
  1. We are witnessing a significant increase in the number of immigrants recently, and trends indicate that this will likely continue for years to come;
  2. We see a significant increase in costs to deliver settlement services, due to increases in rents and other infrastructure costs, increased staff compensation levels, etc;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR request CIC to:

  1. Provide a copy of the report prepared by the consultant on the national funding allocation formula;
  2. Share their vision/action plan for providing necessary sustainable funding to address service needs as well as organizations' operational needs.

4. “Enhanced reliability” clearances for settlement agency staff

Dec 2001
  1. Settlement agencies received a memo dated Nov. 2, 2001 indicating that “Enhanced Reliability” clearances on LINC, ISAP, RAP and Host staff will be a contract requirement as of 2002-2003, referring to this as a measure prompted by the events of September 11;
  2. The memo is unclear about which staff will be subject to such requirements;
  3. The memo implies that CIC is creating a vulnerable computer system after having assured settlement agencies that the system would be secure;
  4. The CCR fails to see any connection between September 11 and credit checks on those handling valuables;
  5. Agencies are liable for the actions of their staff and volunteers and thus have measures in place to assure their reliability;
  6. Preliminary investigation indicates that no other federal department which manages contribution agreements, such as HRDC, Health Canada, CIDA, etc., are implementing similar measures;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Request clarification from CIC regarding: a) What staff CIC believes need a security check and why. b) What credit checks are envisaged, whether they include volunteer board members who have bank signing authorities, and why. c) Why there is a rush on checks on staff using a computer system which we had been assured was secure and through which agencies would only have access to data regarding their own clients;
  2. Urge the Prime Minister to address this issue as an example of systemic racism and the targeting of immigrants by the federal government;
  3. Examine the Human Rights implications of this matter with the Human Rights Commission;
  4. Explore the possibility of a charter challenge on this issue;
  5. Bring the issue to the attention of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.

5. ISAP services

Dec 2001
  1. Immigrants and refugees need and deserve complex social, community and employment services to facilitate effective settlement;
  2. The CCR is deeply concerned about the human tragedy of those immigrants and refugees who do not settle successfully, some ending up trapped in low level employment for which they are far over qualified or on assistance;
  3. There are very limited resources to which settlement clients can be referred to for services meaning that settlement services go well beyond simple information and referral;
Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR urge Citizenship and Immigration Canada to undertake a review of the ISAP program, in consultation with service providers, other experts and stakeholders, with the intention of:

(a) examining what services are needed to help immigrants and refugees settle successfully.

(b) defining outcomes and standards for those services.

(c) reviewing reasonable case loads to assure an appropriate level of service.

(d) significantly raising the level of funding to settlement services in Canada.

1. Accountability framework

May 2001

The CCR reaffirms Resolution 3 from November 1992 and Resolution16 from December 2000,

Therefore be it resolved:

That the CCR:

  1. Verify with the Privacy Commissioner and the Canadian Human Rights Commission and seek independent legal advice on the ethics of:  (i) agencies releasing client information without explicit, voluntary, informed client consent.  (ii) having newcomers sign blanket release of information forms upon arrival, raising significant issues of informed, voluntary consent and raising issues of how agencies will be able to know which clients may have refused release of information;
  2. Request that CIC do a cost-benefit analysis of moving from aggregate data collection to individual data collection;
  3. Urge CIC to heed the suggestions in the Kathleen Stevenson report;
  4. Urge CIC to enter into a discussion with the sector about the desired outcomes of settlement services and base the performance measurement and program evaluation framework on these outcomes.