Immigration and Settlement

Funding formula

Resolution number: 
1
December 1999
Whereas: 
  1. CIC has developed and begun the implementation of a new National Funding Formula for the allocation of settlement funding to each province;
  2. The consequences of the implementation has brought to light marked reductions in settlement funds for some provinces most notably Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan;
  3. The numbers of newcomers fluctuates each year, and the provision of service lasts for many years;
  4. These reductions will seriously damage the structural integrity and delivery capability of agencies in affected provinces, putting many below threshold operating levels;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That CIC be requested to re-evaluate the reductions targeted for various provinces, specifically Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan, taking into consideration the consequences of such reductions.

Volunteer work

Resolution number: 
2
June 2000
Whereas: 
  1. All levels of government and other funding organizations recognize and actively promote the benefits of volunteering to the community at large and to the individual volunteers;
  2. Refugees look to volunteer work to gain Canadian experience and to reduce social isolation;
  3. In Ontario refugees are required to do volunteer work in order to receive social assistance ("workfare program");
  4. CIC BC Region has issued a communiqué fact sheet to inform the voluntary sector that volunteerism is a form of work and as such requires an employment authorization prior to participation in volunteer work;
  5. There are similar problems arising in other provinces across Canada;
  6. This puts an undue obligation on the voluntary sector organizations to monitor and police this requirement and inhibits refugees from active participation in the community during the initial settlement period;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request that CIC not interpret volunteer work as requiring an employment authorization.

Settlement standards framework

Resolution number: 
1
June 2000
Whereas: 
  1. A resolution was passed in May 1999 relating to the development of National Settlement Standards through a process presented by a Settlement Standards Steering Committee;
  2. This process has led to the development of the National Settlement Service Standards Framework document presented in Vancouver (spring 2000);
Therefore be it resolved: 

That this National Settlement Service Standards Framework be adopted in principle and that the Steering Committee present an implementation strategy at the fall 2000 consultation.

 

Combating homophobia and heterosexism

Resolution number: 
19
December 2000
Whereas: 
  1. The CCR membership has acknowledged the negative impact of homophobia and heterosexism within our sector and membership;
  2. Current settlement standards do not explicitly reflect the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) refugees and immigrants;
  3. There is an apparent lack of commitment to training and education on these issues;
  4. There are serious concerns about the refusal rates of refugee claims based on sexual orientation;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That a task group be struck by the CCR to:

  1. Facilitate information-sharing on pro LGBTQ practices and policies within the immigration and refugee sector;
  2. Suggest amendments to existing settlement standards to include LGBTQ issues;
  3. Urge CCR members to implement mandatory training and education within their agencies on unlearning homophobia and heterosexism;
  4. Gather evidence about the refusal rate, processes and practices of the IRB in relation to claims based on sexual orientation.
Subject: 

Refugee women as leaders

Resolution number: 
17
December 2000
Whereas: 
  1. The CCR has expressed commitment to inclusive practices and in particular refugee participation;
  2. Refugee women face systemic and societal barriers in accessing opportunities for participation in leadership capacities;
  3. Participants of the Refugee Women's meeting expressed a desire and commitment to continued participation and identified the need for space to share experiences, network, address specific issues and develop affirmative actions for follow up;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Provide space at CCR conferences for refugee women, with a priority to outreach to informally organized refugee women;
  2. Ensure refugee women as a priority in the nominations for positions to the CCR Executive and Working Group Chairs, similar to the refugee participation policy;
  3. Identify better strategies in the promotion of the Refugee Participation Fund to include better methods of ensuring continuity, support and orientation for participants, e.g. mentoring;
  4. Strongly encourage member agencies to facilitate support of the participation of refugee women through the Refugee Participation Fund and to provide resources and support to develop and maintain networks at local levels.
Subject: 

Accountability

Resolution number: 
16
December 2000
Whereas: 
  1. The federal government is undertaking to develop an accountability framework for settlement services to fulfill new Treasury Board guidelines;
  2. Settlement agencies are committed to being accountable to funders, clients and the community;
  3. It is in the interest of both CIC and NGOs to work closely on this project;
  4. CCR's Resolution 4, May 1999 addressed this issue but unfortunately the LINC study seems not to have been distributed as indicated would happen in the August 18, 1999 letter from CIC;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR encourage Citizenship and Immigration Canada to:

  1. Develop the framework in a transparent, accountable manner by:a) engaging in meaningful two-way consultations; b) ensuring benefits from frontline and academic expertise in the provision of adult education, employment and settlement services;c) conducting business in an open and transparent manner, including posting on the internet such documents as, inter alia, studies, reports and meeting minutes; holding regional meetings with open invitations to contract holders; and reporting to all relevant umbrella groups;
  2. Develop the framework in such a manner as to strengthen, facilitate and improve service delivery;
  3. Develop the framework acknowledging the complexities of managing both large and small NGOs and with the intent of facilitating sound, efficient management thereof;
  4. Clarify the distinctions and interconnections between: performance measurement/ program evaluation; outputs/outcomes and quantitative/qualitative indicators.

Implementation of the national settlement service standards framework

Resolution number: 
15
December 2000
Whereas: 
  1. A National Settlement Service Standards (NSSS) Framework was developed by the CCR through a National Consultation process that involved a broad range of individuals and agencies providing settlement services to immigrants, refugees and refugee claimants;
  2. The CCR adopted in principle the NSSS framework as presented by the Working Group on Settlement in June 2000 (Res. 1, Jun. 00);
  3. The National Settlement Service Standards Steering Committee was asked to develop a plan to implement this framework across Canada;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR seek funding to enable the National Settlement Services Standards Steering Committee to complete the following tasks:

  1. Develop tools to assist workers and agencies in adopting and using the NSSS framework;
  2. Research and develop a peer review support model for agencies using the NSSS framework;
  3. Explore the concept of a national registry of settlement agencies having successfully completed a peer review process.

Cashflow

Resolution number: 
6
May 2001
Whereas: 
  1. Immigrant serving agencies require operational funds to deliver services to newcomers as per the terms of contribution agreements of CIC;
  2. There has been an ongoing problem with service provider organizations having insufficient cashflow to deliver continuous services to newcomers due to delays in the approval of new contribution agreements;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on CIC to be accountable to the service providers and newcomers by implementing timely application and approval target dates to ensure that new contribution agreements are signed and new year advances are released before existing contribution agreements end.

 

Metropolis research program

Resolution number: 
5
May 2001
Whereas: 
  1. CCR brings together NGOs active and involved in the 4 Metropolis Centres of Excellence (Vancouver, Prairies, Toronto, Montreal and soon the Atlantic);
  2. Metropolis (Canada) is proposing a national research program aimed at developing immigration policies and programs for the coming 6 years;
  3. The proposed research priorities question the role of community organizations serving refugees and immigrants and will affect the areas of activity of NGOs;
  4. Metropolis relies on the support and participation of NGOs in the processes; of consultation, adoption and implementation of a national research program;
  5. The current Metropolis proposal deals mainly with immigration as an economic and competitive issue  and gives undue priority to public security and criminality aspects of immigration;
  6. The Metropolis proposal marginalizes the role and responsibility of the  host society in settling newcomers and fails to take into account the reception and settlement of refugees;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Call on Metropolis Canada to amend their proposal to take account of a broader concept of settlement and integration of refugees and immigrants and include priorities concerning protection issues;
  2. Establish an ad hoc task group to develop a common NGO position in response to the Metropolis proposal, notably on the terms of participation in Metropolis bodies and activities and reiterate our call to provide a mechanism and resources to facilitate the participation of community organizations serving immigrants and refugees.
Subject: 

Settlement sector working conditions

Resolution number: 
4
May 2001
Whereas: 
  1. The CCR in June 1994 called on CIC to fund agencies at levels to provide for adequate working conditions;
  2. Staff working in CIC funded programs, including in provinces that have signed agreements, are skilled professionals;
  3. There is wide variation in funding levels for salaries, none of which adequately compensate staff for the work which they are doing;
  4. Many workers have no benefits, no pension plans, no prep time for teachers and in general sub-standard working conditions;
  5. Some contracts do not even allow for sick days;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Call on CIC to do a survey of working conditions in the sector and act to improve funding levels to allow agencies to provide reasonable working conditions;
  2. Investigate disparities in salary contributions in agreements with, inter alia, HRDC and Health Canada, with the objective of making a human rights complaint on discrimination in contracting.

Delays

Resolution number: 
3
May 2001
Whereas: 

delays cause anxiety and instability for refugees and their families;

Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR contact the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and urge that CIC be resourced to supply sufficient support staff to provide for expeditious processing of family reunification, private sponsorships and other matters that require avoidance of delays and backlogs which cause pain and anxiety to refugees.

 

Access to benefits for persons on minister’s permits

Resolution number: 
2
May 2001
Whereas: 
  1. Minister’s Permits have been issued for compassionate and humanitarian reasons to allow for urgent admission of individuals and families in dire circumstances;
  2. Minister’s Permits have been issued to persons in Canada who are inadmissible on medical grounds;
  3. The recipients of Minister’s Permits are not eligible for benefits available to resettled refugees and persons with permanent resident status (such as travel loans and health care);
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR contact the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and request that families and individuals granted Minister ’s Permits for permanent admission to Canada be given equivalent benefits to resettled refugees and permanent residents.

 

Accountability framework

Resolution number: 
1
May 2001
Whereas: 

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.

Newcomers and housing

Resolution number: 
8
December 2001
Whereas: 

The National Housing and Homelessness Network is working to raise awareness of discrimination and human rights violations confronting newcomers and all Canadians seeking quality and affordable housing;

Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR join the National Housing and Homelessness Network and the Urban Core Support Network to persuade federal, provincial and territorial governments to support the one percent solution which will create quality and affordable housing for all Canadians and that specific amounts of all new funding be identified for housing for newcomers.

National population strategy

Resolution number: 
7
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. The Auditor General of Canada in his report of April 1998 devoted an entire chapter (Chapter 6) to the demographic challenges facing Canada, saying “We are living longer and we are having fewer children. These are indisputable facts;”
  2. The Auditor General has pointed to the “significant impact” of these demographic trends, particularly on the economy and on the long-term financial condition of the government.
  3. The Auditor General has drawn attention to the inadequacy of the information provided by the Government to Parliament and the public about the implications of current demographic trends and their potential impact;
  4. The Government of Canada appears to have taken no overt action to respond to the recommendations of the Auditor General in these matters;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on the Government of Canada to:

  1. Tell the people of Canada about the potential impacts that demographics can have, as detailed in, and as recommended by the 1998 report of the Auditor General;
  2. Devise a long-term strategy for increasing immigration as a response to the demographic challenges described by the Auditor General.

Post-Durban

Resolution number: 
6
December 2001
Whereas: 

The CCR participated in the Durban World Conference against Racism (WCAR);

Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Call on the government of Canada to advocate for a Durban plus 5 Conference and monitor the progress that has been made since WCAR;
  2. Bring forward refugee and immigrant concerns to any shadow report prepared on Canada for the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) on the progress since WCAR;
  3. Continue to promote the involvement of youth and aboriginal people in CCR anti-racism work;
  4. Continue membership in the National Anti-Racism Coalition (NARC), including serving on the steering committee.

ISAP services

Resolution number: 
5
December 2001
Whereas: 
  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.

“Enhanced reliability” clearances for settlement agency staff

Resolution number: 
4
December 2001
Whereas: 
  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.

BC agreement

Resolution number: 
3
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. 50% of federal funding for immigrant services in BC goes into the general coffers of the province and does not go to supporting direct services;
  2. The BC-federal agreement on settlement services will be re-negotiated over the next year;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR bring forward to CIC National Headquarters, in advance of the re-negotiation of the BC-federal agreement on settlement services, the concerns of members over the compromising of service delivery in BC.

Interpretation of Charities Act

Resolution number: 
2
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. The current interpretation of the terms “general public” and “advocacy” by the Charities Branch means that many organizations serving immigrants and refugees, women and ethnospecific communities do not meet the criteria for being granted charitable status;
  2. Many organizations have been denied or lost charitable status because they are deemed to serve special interest groups and not the general public or because they include advocacy as part of their work;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR work with the Charities Branch to effect policy changes regarding the interpretation of the Charities Act as it affects the status of ethnospecific and women ’s organizations, so that these organizations are recognized to be part of general Canadian society; and that advocacy is recognized as an essential tool for democratic participation in civic societies and that the work of these groups is recognized to be beneficial to Canadian society.

Trafficking in women

Resolution number: 
1
December 2001
Whereas: 
  1. Victims of trafficking in Canada are in need of services including advocacy;
  2. CCR member organizations are not necessarily sensitized and responsive to these needs;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on its members to sensitize themselves to trafficking issues and consider adapting their services or their mandates, as appropriate, to respond to the needs of those who have been trafficked.

Subject: 

Anti-Racist Analytical Framework

Resolution number: 
2
May 2002
Whereas: 
  1. Federal government policies and regulations often have differential negative impacts on racialized communities;
  2. There are no existing instruments to measure and remedy the differential impacts;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on the federal government to:

  1. Facilitate the establishment of an inter-departmental working group to develop an anti-racist analytical framework in consultation with NGOs representing equity-seeking groups/communities;
  2. Establish a process for implementation, monitoring and reporting back to civil society on an annual basis.

Youth

Resolution number: 
1
May 2002
Whereas: 
  1. Children make up approximately as much as half of all asylum seekers in the industrialized world;
  2. Refugee and immigrant youth are particularly vulnerable and have a unique set of needs;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Continuously raise the level of awareness of the needs of immigrant and refugee youth through CCR networks and consultations;
  2. Advocate for the rights of immigrant and refugee youth in Canada.
Subject: 

Destining

Resolution number: 
7
November 2002
Whereas: 
  1. The government of Canada is now contemplating the use of temporary work permits to attract new immigrants to settle in smaller communities:
  2. The use of temporary work permits with geographical limitations to attract potential immigrants and their families to Canada is cruel and damaging, if, for some reasons beyond their reasonable control, permanent residency is not eventually granted;
  3. Restricting mobility within Canada is a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and will create two classes of residents;
  4. Restricting settlement in certain areas without adequate access to settlement, economic and social services may impose undue hardship on new immigrants and the host communities.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to:

  1. Desist from implementing any re-population strategy for smaller communities that involves immigration without consulting stakeholders and ensuring that these communities have the supports necessary to welcome new immigrants;
  2. Refrain from extending the program which uses temporary permits as a pre-condition to obtaining the right to apply for permanent residence status at the end of a specified time period.

Permanent resident card

Resolution number: 
6
November 2002
Whereas: 
  1. The new permanent resident card is costing each immigrant from $50 - $300;
  2. Agency staff is spending inordinate amounts of time in completing these applications;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That CCR request

  1. CIC and, where appropriate, the provinces, to facilitate the process of enabling immigrants to obtain permanent resident cards as mandated under IRPA by providing adequate funding to agencies to:
    a) Assist immigrants to complete permanent resident card applications.
    b) Engage Notary Publics, Lawyers or commissioners to administer statutory declarations in support of permanent resident card applications at no cost to the immigrant.
  2. CIC to amend the regulations to simplify the requirements.

HRDC funding for agencies

Resolution number: 
5
November 2002
Whereas: 
  1. Knowledge Matters documents the necessity of integrating the skills of immigrants into the Canadian labour market;
  2. HRDC is encouraging the development of cross-sectoral partnerships to facilitate labour market integration;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR advocate with HRDC for the allocation of funding to enable immigrant serving agencies to increase their capacity and facilitate the development of appropriate cross-sectoral partnerships to address local needs.

 

Subject: 

Recognition of foreign credentials

Resolution number: 
4
November 2002
Whereas: 

Citizenship and Immigration Canada, HRDC, Industry Canada and Canadian Heritage plan to improve the process for recognizing foreign credentials, for example by allowing for the process to begin overseas; coordinating credential evaluation processes; setting up a single source of information and licensing requirements and establishing norms for work experience;

Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR advocate with CIC, HRDC, Industry Canada, Canadian Heritage, MRCI and other relevant bodies that:

  1. Those working toward the recognition of foreign trained professionals be involved in the process from the beginning to the end;
  2. Evaluation of the outcomes of this initiative be based on detailed demographic indicators, broken down by gender, age and country of origin.
Subject: 

Second medicals for refugees recognized in Canada

Resolution number: 
3
November 2002
Whereas: 
  1. Refugees recognized in Canada have already undergone a medical on arriving in Canada;
  2. CIC is interpreting the new immigration legislation to require a second medical, on application for permanent residence, where more than 12 months have passed since the first medical.
  3. It is arbitrary, inefficient and discriminatory to target refugees simply because the waiting period between their arrival in Canada and their application for permanent residence exceeds 12 months.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR reject CIC's interpretation and oppose a mandatory second medical for refugees who make their application for permanent residence in Canada, and that the CCR communicate this position to CIC.

Subject: 

HRDC priorities

Resolution number: 
2
November 2002
Whereas: 
  1. The current HRDC priorities for funding are: women, youth, aboriginal people, people with disabilities;
  2. The current HRDC practice provides no resources to assist new Canadians to fully participate in the Canadian labour market;
  3. These policies are designed to assist disadvantaged populations to enter the mainstream labour market;
  4. The integration of newcomers to the Canadian labour market requires a head start equal to that of the already identified groups;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That CCR contact the minister responsible for HRDC and urge that the HRDC recognize as a priority group newcomers to Canada to ensure their full participation into the Canadian labour market.

 

Subject: 

Status

Resolution number: 
1
November 2002
Whereas: 
  1. Immigrants and refugees with and without status have contributed to Canada's economic and social well-being throughout this country's history;
  2. Canada is home to many immigrants and refugees who do not have permanent resident status;
  3. These immigrants and refugees have come to Canada for a variety of reasons, including social problems, war, political persecution, family reunification and economic dislocation, often as a result of globalization and trade liberalization;
  4. An increasingly restrictive Canadian immigration policy screens out all but a select few;
  5. The Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement could create more non-status persons by forcing refugee claimants to turn to desperate measures in an attempt to reach their destinations;
  6. Organizations such as the Vancouver Association of Chinese Canadians (VACC), le Comité d'action des sans statut, the Greater Toronto Home Builders' Association and STATUS (Campaign to regularize Non-Status Immigrants) recognize the struggles persons without status face here in Canada;
  7. As members of the CCR, we are part of a progressive organization that is committed to the rights and protection of refugees in Canada and to the settlement of refugees and immigrants in Canada;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Continue to raise the level of awareness of the needs of non-status immigrants and refugees living in Canada through CCR networks and consultations;
  2. Advocate for the rights of non-status immigrants and refugees in Canada;
  3. Raise with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration the regularization of non-status immigrants and refugees living in Canada;
  4. Endorse and support campaigns working for the rights of non-status immigrants and refugees in Canada which are consistent with CCR policies.
Subject: 

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