Immigration and Settlement

Youth representation within CCR

Resolution number: 
5
May 2003
Whereas: 
  1. Young people are under-represented in the CCR;
  2. There are increasing numbers of separated children and youth coming to Canada;
  3. In order to remain relevant to immigrants and refugees, the CCR must find ways to increase youth participation;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR actively promote youth participation at all levels of the organization by:

  1. Having at least one youth workshop organized by youth for youth at CCR consultations;
  2. Finding ways to increase/encourage youth attendance at consultations;
  3. Exploring ways of linking and encouraging dialogue amongst youth that are interested in refugee and immigrant issues.
Subject: 

Increased settlement funding

Resolution number: 
4
May 2003
Whereas: 
  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.

Right to establish relationships

Resolution number: 
3
May 2003
Whereas: 
  1. Permanent residents, protected persons and citizens have the right to establish a longstanding relationship by co-habiting with or marrying a partner of their choice and have children, regardless of status;
  2. Families are a key foundation of civil society and every effort should be taken to ensure that partners and their offspring are not separated;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR advocate to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to amend the regulations in order to create a class through which permanent residents, protected persons and citizens have the right to sponsor their partner and children in Canada, regardless of their status.

Client code of rights

Resolution number: 
2
May 2003
Whereas: 

The provision of services of a certain quality is a social responsibility for agencies providing services to refugee and immigrant clients;

Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Support the development of a "Client Code of Rights" that will inform clients of their rights and outline a process of complaint when accessing services;
  2. Facilitate the endorsement of a client code of rights by CCR members.

Non-status immigrants

Resolution number: 
1
May 2003
Whereas: 
  1. Undocumented/non-status immigrants and refugees who have been living without status in Canada have made and continue to make vital contributions to our society;
  2. They have been denied access to basic social supports, health services and educational opportunities;
  3. They are exploited and marginalized because of lack of status;
  4. The rights of the children of undocumented/non-status immigrants and refugees, including those who are Canadian-born, are often violated and they and their parents have no recourse because they are fearful of being deported;
  5. An increasingly restrictive Canadian immigration policy serves as a prohibitive barrier to equitable access to immigration to Canada;
  6. In the past the Canadian Government has instituted special programs to regularize the status of such persons without status;
  7. A just and humane solution must be sought to address the problem of the large numbers of undocumented/non-status immigrants and refugees in the country;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR, together with other organizations and coalitions working for the rights of undocumented/non-status immigrants and refugees, advocate with CIC to develop a process that will allow those without status the opportunity to have their status regularized in Canada.

Subject: 

Work permits

Resolution number: 
9
November 2003
Whereas: 
  1. Canada issued over 87,000 temporary work permits last year;
  2. People living on temporary work permits are often in precarious and unstable situations;
  3. Many people living on work permits will eventually become landed in Canada;
  4. People living on temporary work permits are all contributing community members and paying taxes;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Urge CIC to expand eligibility to settlement services to those living on work permits.
  2. Undertake to examine the issues of, needs of and work being done with people living on temporary work permits.

Settlement funding allocation

Resolution number: 
8
November 2003
Whereas: 
  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.

Double/triple reporting - ARS and ICAMS

Resolution number: 
7
November 2003
Whereas: 
  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).

Social Insurance Numbers

Resolution number: 
6
November 2003
Whereas: 
  1. Homeless immigrants and refugees are a vulnerable population;
  2. HRDC will not issue Social Insurance Numbers without immigration documents and CIC will not issue permanent residence cards without a Social Insurance Number.
  3. Immigrants cannot travel without a permanent resident card after December 31, 2003.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Urge HRDC to set up a process to work with homeless and other vulnerable immigrants to obtain Social Insurance Numbers.
  2. Urge CIC to extend the deadline for permanent resident cards until December 2004.

Client code of service rights

Resolution number: 
5
November 2003
Whereas: 

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.

Continued work on trafficking

Resolution number: 
4
November 2003
Whereas: 
  1. CCR passed Resolution 24 in December 2001 and subsequently has held regional workshops and a national conference to explore the issues domestically.
  2. The Conference identified data collection, education and awareness-raising as key priorities.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Urge Canadian Heritage/Status of Women Canada to support the implementation and the recommendations from the National Conference on Trafficked Women and Children.
  2. Urge to the Federal Inter-Departmental Working Group to include CCR in the discussions on trafficked persons.
Subject: 

Threat of open tendering

Resolution number: 
3
November 2003
Whereas: 
  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.

Youth involvement

Resolution number: 
2
November 2003
Whereas: 
  1. Youth comprise a significant and often overlooked portion of the population.
  2. Youth are the leaders of tomorrow;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR encourage the involvement and participation of youth at every CCR consultation by designating a local youth organizing committee and furthermore that the CCR support youth participation.

Subject: 

Relations with First Nations communities

Resolution number: 
1
November 2003
Whereas: 
  1. The immigrant and refugee sector has made little attempt to create meaningful linkages with Canada's First Nation communities.
  2. Non-aboriginal Canadians (including immigrants and refugees) have been beneficiaries of Canada's policies that have discriminated against Aboriginal communities;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on its members to sensitize themselves on the issues facing First Nations communities and explore ways of having meaningful dialogue with these communities.

Professionalism

Resolution number: 
7
May 2004
Whereas: 
  1. National Settlement Sector occupational competencies do not exist.
  2. No certification/accreditation body presently regulates settlement as a profession.
  3. Professionals in this sector provide services at par with other social service providers.
  4. There is an increasing burden on Settlement Practitioners to provide varied and in-depth services meeting provincial/federal reporting, evaluation and accountability requirements.  
  5. CIC has promoted the notion of comparable services across provinces and regions.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR, in collaboration with other sector organizations, seek funding from appropriate sources and contingent upon securing appropriate resources, undertake a feasibility study on Professional Certification within the settlement sector.

Improving ICAMS

Resolution number: 
6
May 2004
Whereas: 

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.

ESL literacy programming

Resolution number: 
5
May 2004
Whereas: 
  1. CIC has recently recognized and supported the need for additional language training for skilled immigrants, as demonstrated by the Enhanced Language Training (ELT) funding.
  2. CIC has greatly increased the arrivals of high-needs, low Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB)scoring government-assisted refugees (GARs).
  3. Research and experience clearly demonstrate that very low CLB literacy scoring newcomers require substantial additional instruction and support.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request CIC to:

  1. Increase the hours of LINC eligibility for low literacy clients.
  2. Provide additional supports for programming targeting such clients over and above standard ESL provisions in the same manner as that for skilled immigrants under the ELT stream.
Subject: 

Eligibility for HRSDC programming

Resolution number: 
4
May 2004
Whereas: 
  1. The government of Canada has repeatedly expressed concern for the under- employment of skilled newcomers.
  2. Many highly trained newcomers must work at survival jobs in order to support their families.
  3. People who work more than 20 hours a week are excluded from Employment Assistance programs funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC).
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR write to the Minister of HRSDC urging that under-employed newcomers be eligible for employment services regardless of the number of hours’ work per week if they are working outside of their sphere of expertise.

Subject: 

Special needs refugees

Resolution number: 
3
May 2004
Whereas: 
  1. 75% of GARs currently arriving in Canada have special needs.
  2. Settlement agencies and sponsors are not equipped to respond to these special needs.
  3. These special needs include urgent medical needs.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge CIC and MRCI to:

  1. Recognize the extent of these special needs and reflect this in the training and resourcing of federally funded settlement service providers and those funded through provincial partnerships or programs.
  2. Together with other relevant federal departments, provincial counterparts and educational institutions training health care providers, to seek ways to address the training needs of health providers with respect to refugee trauma and torture and cross-cultural awareness.
  3. Review the current RAP allocation model and upgrade dollars and timeframes to better support these special needs.

Leaving newborn children in camps

Resolution number: 
2
May 2004
Whereas: 
  1. Communities are seeing many incidents where sponsored refugees are leaving newborn children behind.
  2. Some children are dying as a result of these decisions.
  3. These decisions are being made based on information circulating in-country that reporting these newborns will result in their travel arrangements being cancelled.
  4. Information on how to report and procedures for reporting do not always reflect the context of refugee applicants regarding access.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR urge CIC to:

  1. Develop a policy which clearly states that reporting newborn children will not jeopardize a family’s passage to Canada.
  2. Communicate this policy to all embassies and UNHCR requiring that this policy be broadcast throughout the refugee population.
  3. Distribute this policy to refugee support systems in Canada for dissemination in ethnocultural communities.
  4. Facilitate a variety of avenues in which to report newborn children and ensure that applicants receive such information.

Anti-homophobia and anti-heterosexism policy

Resolution number: 
1
May 2004
Whereas: 
  1. CCR passed Resolution 19,Dec. 2000 on combating homophobia and heterosexism and Resolution 4, May1998 on the need to develop internal policies that affirm the rights of individuals.
  2. CCR should lead by example in combating homophobia and heterosexism in the CCR membership and the immigrant and refugee serving communities.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Develop an anti-homophobia and anti-heterosexism policy to present to its membership for endorsement at the Fall 2004 consultation.
  2. Ensure that this new policy and the existing anti-racism policy incorporate an integrated approach in implementation.
Subject: 

People of Colour Caucus

Resolution number: 
6
November 2004
Whereas: 
  1. Many refugees are people of colour who encounter systemic, institutional and financial barriers to full participation in CCR.
  2. Refugees and people of colour have played and continue to play a vital role in the CCR.
  3. The People of Colour Caucus provides a space where leadership by refugees and people of colour can be nurtured.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Officially recognize the People of Colour Caucus and provide a space for the caucus at all future consultations.
  2. Acknowledge and take practical steps to overcome the systemic barriers to full participation when planning future consultations.

Employment Equity at CIC and CBSA

Resolution number: 
5
November 2004
Whereas: 
  1. The staff of CIC and CBSA do not appear to reflect the diversity of Canada’s population;
  2. The staff of CIC and CBSA regularly work with a very diverse population of clients.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR request the Public Service Commission to conduct an employment equity audit for both CIC and CBSA.

Temporary Work Permits – Rights of workers

Resolution number: 
4
November 2004
Whereas: 
  1. Workers on temporary work permits are not aware of their rights under the program and the charter;
  2. Many workers are not permitted by employers to retain their personal documentation such as passport, return air ticket and health card.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR demand that CIC and HRSDC:

  1. Ensure that temporary workers are fully informed of their rights under the program before or when they enter Canada;
  2. Ensure that temporary workers are given control of their own papers.
Subject: 

Temporary Work Permits – Terms and conditions

Resolution number: 
3
November 2004
Whereas: 
  1. CIC changes the terms and conditions of temporary work permit programs every year;
  2. This information is not made available to NGOs or others that try to assist individuals on temporary work permits.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR demand that CIC to make any change in terms and conditions publicly available as soon as such changes are made.

Subject: 

Assisted relatives

Resolution number: 
2
November 2004
Whereas: 
  1. The presence of family members is a strong indicator for successful settlement, and assists in small centre retention;
  2. The cancellation of the Assisted Relative category has greatly increased the pressure on the Private Sponsorship program.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Ministre des Relations avec les citoyens et de l’Immigration requesting that the Assisted Relative class be reinstated.

Reductions in GARs

Resolution number: 
1
November 2004
Whereas: 
  1. Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) represent one of the most important mechanisms for Canada to protect those refugees in need of protection;
  2. In recent years CIC has been selecting GARs on the basis of need rather than “ability to settle in Canada” which CCR warmly welcomes, which has resulted in increased demands on settlement agencies because of their very high needs;
  3. CIC has recently suggested that this increased demand on services can best be met by reducing the number of GARs.
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration underlining our commitment to Government Assisted Refugees, and the principle of selection based on need, and requesting that the number of GARs NOT be reduced under any circumstances.

Subject: 

Educational needs of newcomer youth in the Atlantic region

Resolution number: 
6
June 2005
Whereas: 
  1. It is the intention of the Atlantic provincial and municipal governments to attract and encourage immigrants and refugees to move to and remain in the region;
  2. There is already a deficiency of educational resources available;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR advocate on behalf of the Atlantic Region for the required resources to support the educational needs of newcomer youth.

Subject: 

Living wages

Resolution number: 
4
November 2005
Whereas: 

Refugees and immigrants on minimum wage are forced to live in poverty;

Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on the federal government in all of its contracts to ensure a living wage that at least meets the low income cut-off (LICO) or 60% of the average industrial wage, whichever is higher.

Twinning (host)/Canada-Québec Accord

Resolution number: 
5
June 2005
Whereas: 
  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.

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