Inland Protection

Access to H&C

Resolution number: 
2
November 2019
Whereas: 
  1. In the midst of the largest refugee crisis in history, conditions in countries of origin around the world are ever fluid and can change within a matter of days; 
  2. Conditions in countries of origin which may not amount to persecution may still place individuals in severe hardship (for example, climate-related catastrophes); 
  3. H&C applications are the only applications for permanent residence in Canada in which the best interests of the child must be taken into account;
  4. Canada has a legal obligation under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to provide effective remedies to ensure the respect of these rights;
  5. Persons who may face severe hardships in their countries of origin are barred from accessing H&C applications for one year following the final determination of their refugee claim; and
  6. Delays in processing of H&C applications are leading to more people, including families and children, being removed from Canada prior to consideration of the best interests of the child and other humanitarian and compassionate factors raised by their cases;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR call for people seeking protection in Canada to have access to humanitarian and compassionate considerations at any stage of their legal process following arrival in Canada, and in any event prior to removal.

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Developing a National Framework for Unaccompanied Minors in Canada

Resolution number: 
2
June 2019
Whereas: 
  1. There remain dangerous gaps in protection and support for unaccompanied and separated migrant and refugee claimant children entering Canada and moving through the refugee determination system and other immigration processes;
  2. There exists a lack of consistency between and within Provinces, Territories and regions in regards to the assessment, treatment, and available services and supports for unaccompanied and separated migrant, refugee claimant and refugee children;
  3. Canada still lacks clear and consistent guidelines and legislation to deal fairly with unaccompanied and separated migrant and refugee claimant children;
  4. Concerns have been repeatedly expressed by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in regards to the absence of a national policy on unaccompanied and separated migrant and refugee children in Canada, as well as a failure to distinguish between accompanied and unaccompanied children within Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR: 

  1. Call on the federal government, in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments and NGOs, to establish a national framework for unaccompanied and separated migrant, refugee claimant and refugee children.
  2. Insist that Canada’s national framework for unaccompanied and separated migrant, refugee claimant and refugee children take into account the following:
    1. the development of appropriate legislation, policy, protocols and safeguards to ensure fair and compassionate treatment of unaccompanied and separated minors at all stages of their settlement in Canada;
    2. adequate access to services and supports in all areas critical to the minor’s settlement and wellbeing (including, but not limited to: access to safe housing, education, healthcare services, legal assistance, social welfare, basic needs supports and family reunification), and;
    3. that Canada’s national framework for unaccompanied and separated migrant, refugee claimant and refugee children is developed and implemented in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the United Nations Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

Legal Aid

Resolution number: 
1
June 2019
Whereas: 
  1. Access to legal aid in immigration related proceedings directly engages fundamental rights;
  2. Effective functioning of the justice system including the Immigration and Refugee Board requires that individuals are represented by skilled, competent legal professionals;
  3. In the absence of legal aid, vulnerable individuals will be denied access to representation;
  4. There are significant disparities in access to legal aid across the country;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR:

  1. Advocate on both the federal and provincial levels for adequate and sustainable legal aid services in immigration and refugee related areas;
  2. Advocate that federal transfers and provincial legal aid legislation include specific requirements for the delivery of immigration and refugee services.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

Artificial Intelligence

Resolution number: 
2
November 2018
Whereas: 
  1. The Canadian government has shown an interest in integrating artificial intelligence (AI) in decision-making in immigration and refugee matters;
  2. These far-reaching technologies may have a huge impact on the lives of refugees and immigrants;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR advocate with the Canadian government to ensure that:

  1. Any use of artificial intelligence which may be adopted by the Canadian government, including IRCC, CBSA and IRB, respect international and domestic human rights law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
  2. The government provides transparency regarding current practices and future uses of AI, independent oversight mechanisms, and any new binding standards;
  3. The government consults with the CCR, civil society, academia, policy makers, advocates, and most importantly, affected groups before moving forward with any AI initiatives.
Working Group: 

Climate change

Resolution number: 
3
November 2016
Whereas: 
  1. Climate change is having an increasingly dramatic impact on forced migration;
  2. The Paris Agreement recognized the scientific and ethical imperative to mitigate climate change;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR create links with climate justice groups in order to develop a policy and advocate on climate justice issues in the context of uprootedness.

Working Group: 

Sexual orientation and Gender Identity policies at IRCC and CBSA

Resolution number: 
2
November 2016
Whereas: 
  1. Previous CCR resolutions already call on the IRB, IRCC and CBSA to include education and training on LGBT issues;
  2. Previous CCR resolutions already call on the IRB to adopt Guidelines for determination of claims of persecution on the basis of sexual orientation but not on other branches of the immigration system to do so;
  3. The IRB is currently in the process of developing sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) Guidelines and the CCR is participating in the related consultation process;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR call on IRCC, the CBSA and MIDI, as well as provincial and territorial immigration departments to adopt comprehensive internal policies that promote fair, just and equitable treatment related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, and provide ongoing education on these policies. 

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Social media

Resolution number: 
4
November 2015
Whereas: 
  1. Social media (including Facebook) are increasingly being used by CBSA and IRCC to investigate foreign nationals and/or permanent residents;
  2. There are serious concerns about how social media is used by these agencies.
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR advocate with CBSA and IRCC to develop appropriate policy in collaboration with the CCR about the use of social media and to make these policies available to the public.

Working Group: 

Return of claimants referred back to RPD after deportation

Resolution number: 
3
November 2015
Whereas: 
  1. Claimants have been deported while waiting for decisions from the Federal Court;
  2. Claimants were deported who subsequently become eligible for an appeal at the RAD;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR advocate that those deported claimants that have subsequently been referred back to the RPD by the Federal Court or the RAD be brought back to Canada for re-examination by the RPD.

Subject: 
Working Group: 

Representation of Hungarian Roma

Resolution number: 
2
November 2015
Whereas: 

A large number of Hungarian Roma have been so poorly represented by their lawyers that the law society sanctioned the lawyers;

Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR advocate that the refused claimants who were represented by these lawyers sanctioned by the Law Society be allowed to return to Canada with full access to the RAD.

Working Group: 

Interdiction of passengers with proper documentation

Resolution number: 
1
November 2015
Whereas: 
  1. CBSA has acknowledged that it has provided recommendations to airlines that have resulted in the refusal to allow persons in Hungary to board flights to Canada on the alleged grounds of not possessing proper documentation to enter Canada;
  2. Hungary is a visa exempt country and the passengers in question possessed valid passports and no actual deficiency in their documents has been reported;
  3. The logical conclusion is that CBSA officials advised the airline that the persons in question were lying about their intentions to visit Canada temporarily, and were hiding an intention to remain permanently in Canada;
  4. CBSA’s recommendation was apparently based on the persons’ Roma ethnicity, which constitutes the use of racial profiling to prevent persons who have proper documentation from visiting Canada;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that CCR advocate that CBSA stop recommending to airlines that passengers who possess proper documentation be prevented from boarding planes to Canada.

Working Group: 

American Convention on Human Rights

Resolution number: 
23
November 1995
Whereas: 
  1. Canada is a member of the Organization of American States which has developed a human rights instrument, the American Convention on Human Rights;
  2. Canada has entered economic agreements with the U.S. and Mexico and plans to enter a joint asylum granting agreement with the U.S.;
  3. Mexico has ratified, and the U.S. has signed, the American Convention on Human Rights;
  4. The Convention offers enhanced protections for non-citizens with respect to certain rights, notably family rights and procedural rights;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR:

  1. Urge Canada to ratify the American Convention on Human Rights;
  2. Invite the Network on International Human Rights to hold discussions with a view to increasing awareness of the functioning of the OAS human rights system and thereby encouraging such ratification.
Working Group: 

Non-citizens and international human rights treaties

Resolution number: 
22
November 1995
Whereas: 
  1. Canada, through its government, its parliament and its courts, has habitually neglected United Nations Covenants and Conventions of justice in its treatment of non-citizens who came to Canada seeking protection;
  2. Specifically, it has neglected to enact legislation in Parliament to embody in Canadian law the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Covenant on Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention against Torture;
  3. As a consequence, habeas corpus and other elements of due process guaranteed to Canadians by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are often denied by Canadian civil servants and Canadian courts to non-citizens who came to Canada seeking protection;
  4. Further, such non-citizens have no simple and effective legal means of enforcing such rights;
  5. As a further consequence, many such people have been deported from Canada in violation of one or more of the above UN Covenants and Conventions;
  6. The Immigration Act and court decisions based on it are inconsistent with Canada's obligations under UN human rights treaties;
Therefore be it resolved: 

 that the CCR:

  1. Call upon the Parliament and Government of Canada forthwith to incorporate all the above United Nations Covenants and Conventions into Canadian law, and in particular into the Immigration Act and Regulations, directing all Canadian civil servants and courts to enforce them;
  2. Write to the Ministers of Justice and of Citizenship and Immigration and the chair of the parliamentary committee on Human Rights and Disabled Persons advising them of the problem and urging them to establish a mechanism to monitor Canada's compliance with its international human rights treaty obligations and to make an annual report to parliament (such a report to include such matters as the status of international cases submitted from Canada and any legislative or other measures taken);
  3. Request all Chief Justices to organize training sessions for judges on the interpretation and application of Canada's international human rights treaties, with international participation.
Working Group: 

Indigenous peoples of Canada

Resolution number: 
21
November 1995
Whereas: 

Canada has a record of failure to honour United Nations human rights covenants and conventions in its treatment of the indigenous peoples of Canada by uprooting those peoples from their lands and denying them due process, even under Canadian law;

Therefore be it resolved: 

that 

  1. The CCR seek a dialogue with the appropriate representatives of the indigenous peoples of this land in order to consider collaboration with them for the purpose of ensuring that indigenous peoples and uprooted peoples both benefit fully from the United Nations human rights covenants and conventions;
  2. The Working Group on Protection invite volunteers to establish a subcommittee to pursue this resolution.
Working Group: 

BC Welfare

Resolution number: 
20
November 1995
Whereas: 
  1. The B.C. government has passed two orders-in-council denying social assistance to newcomers and certain classes of refugees and immigrants;
  2. Effective November 1st 1995 immigrants who do not have a Minister's Permit or who are not in the refugee determination process or who are eligible for deportation will not be eligible for any form of social assistance;
  3. Effective December 1st, 1995, all newcomers to the province of B.C. including refugee claimants are not eligible for any form of social assistance for their first 90 days in the province;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR write immediately to the B.C. Minister of Social Services, Joy Macphail, to demand the immediate repeal of these regulations and to remind her of:

  1. Canada's international obligations to refugee claimants;
  2. The length of time rejected refugee claimants remain in Canada prior to deportation;
  3. The social and economic plight of newly arrived refugee claimants.
Working Group: 

Port of Entry Interviews

Resolution number: 
18
November 1995
Whereas: 
  1. Citizenship and Immigration Canada is currently reviewing its procedure on Port of Entry interviews with refugee claimants with a view to standardizing them;
  2. Notes of the Port of Entry interviews are now automatically sent to the CRDD;
  3. Refugee claimants' situation on arrival is one of great vulnerability;
  4. Claimants are questioned by immigration officers without the presence of legal counsel, sometimes over many hours, in situations of great stress and fatigue;
  5. Interpreters are not always provided or they are provided over the phone;
  6. There have been instances of rude and insensitive behaviour and attempts to discourage claimants from making claims or negative comments on the merits of the claim;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR call on Citizenship and Immigration Canada to:

  1. Establish a joint committee to review procedures on the taking of Port of Entry notes and their use by the IRB;
  2. Cease asking questions about the basis of the refugee claim;
  3. Give officers a code of conduct, guidelines and training to ensure that the claimant is treated with respect during the interview;
  4. Indicate in the guidelines that nothing is to be said or done that would cast aspersions on the merits of the claim or might discourage the claimant from making the claim;
  5. Allow the presence of lawyers or other support persons such as family, friends or NGOs where their presence would not unduly delay the interview;
  6. Provide copies of the interview notes to the claimant at the end of the interview and where possible record the interview;
  7. Institute an accessible, transparent and accountable complaints procedure.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

Removals

Resolution number: 
15
November 1995
Whereas: 
  1. The CCR has already on numerous occasions expressed its concerns relating to the manner in which removals are effected and has adopted various resolutions calling on the government to address those concerns;
  2. The public revelation that an immigration officer committed forgery with a view to speeding removal has prompted the Department to ask Roger Tassé to assess removals procedures;
  3. The subsequent arrest of two other immigration officers on charges of forgery only confirms the fundamental nature of the problem;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR, in addition to other previously adopted recommendations:

  1. Call on the Department to:
    • Establish accountability mechanisms, including civilian oversight or an ombudsman, for the Enforcement Branch of the Immigration Department;
    • Protect the deportee's identity vis-a-vis the country to which they are being deported;
    • Respect the principle of family unity by ordering that removals never be effected when the removal would lead to family separation;
  2. Endorse the following recommendations of the assessment of the CIC-RCMP task force, dated May 25, 1995:
    • that the Department develop a Code of Conduct and Discipline for investigators;
    • that the Department undertake a pro-active recruiting campaign to attract women and visible minorities to the enforcement function;
    • that the Department design and implement a community based approach to the issue of illegal immigration;
    • that all persons employed in the enforcement function receive cross cultural training.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

Risk Assessment - Timing and Forum

Resolution number: 
14
November 1995
Whereas: 
  1. Citizenship and Immigration Canada is currently studying the process by which humanitarian and compassionate reviews are done;
  2. CIC is also studying the process for assessing the risks a rejected refugee claimant may face should she/he be removed from Canada;
  3. One proposal which is receiving serious consideration by CIC is to have CIC officials make decisions about claimants' refugee claims, humanitarian and compassionate applications and risk assessments prior to the matter being referred to the IRB;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR:

  1. Oppose refugee claims being determined at any stage by way of administrative process;
  2. Support the proposition that refugee claims should be determined by the IRB, an independent quasi-judicial body;
  3. Support the proposition that decisions about humanitarian and compassionate claims and risk assessment should be made after a determination of a person's refugee claim;
  4. Support the proposition that the IRB is the best available body to make the initial decision about the risks a person may face should that person be removed from Canada or to deal with a re-opening for changes of conditions.
Subject: 
Working Group: 

Task Force on Family Reunification

Resolution number: 
13
November 1995
Whereas: 
  1. Resolution 15 of May 1992 established a task force to inquire into problems being experienced by refugees with respect to family reunification;
  2. The Task Force on Family Reunification's report was released in August 1995;
  3. The CCR remains deeply concerned over the barriers to speedy family reunification for refugees;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR:

  1. Endorse the report in principle;
  2. Call on the government to respond immediately to the concerns raised in the report;
  3. In particular endorse and call for swift action on the following recommendations:

R1.Spouses and dependent children of refugees in Canada should be granted a “derivative status” immediately upon positive determination of the refugee claim, on the basis of which they could proceed to Canada.  All processing of their permanent residence applications, including medical examinations, would be conducted in Canada, in parallel with the refugee's application.

R6.As a matter of principle, the benefit of the doubt with respect to family relationship should be given to refugees applying to sponsor their families.  Visa officers should be encouraged to use flexibility in assessing evidence of relationships and should take into account the delays and costs involved in requesting further proofs.

R14.Where spouse and children of a refugee claimant in Canada are themselves clearly in need of protection, they should not have to wait until the refugee claim is determined and the applications for permanent residence can be processed.  In such cases, visa officers should be directed to issue visas allowing the family to travel to Canada on an urgent basis.

R15.Where children of a refugee or refugee claimant in Canada are without adult care-giver, visa officers should be directed to take a proactive approach to ensure that the children have proper adult protection.  Where such protection is not available, arrangements should be made for them to join the parent in Canada without delay.

R16.Where women in need of protection in third countries have a clear connection to Canada and are likely to benefit by being united with real or de facto family members in Canada, they should be granted asylum in Canada.

R18.Additional visa post resources should be devoted to Africa.  This should be done by reallocating existing resources from regions with relatively light workloads.

R19.Serious consideration should be given to sending “flying teams” of visa officers on a temporary basis to areas where there is a need for additional resources.

R20.For refugees, eligibility of a child for landing based on the 19 year age limit should be determined as of the date of filing of the refugee claim by the parent in Canada, where the child is identified in the parent claimant's PIF.

R23.The present 19 year age limit for dependent children should be treated as a rebuttable presumption rather than an absolute limit.  Where it can be demonstrated that an unmarried child over the age of 19 is dependent on a Convention refugee in Canada, such child should be eligible to be included on the refugee's landing application.

R27.Children who are de facto members of a family unit that is applying for landing in Canada should be included in the family unit notwithstanding that such child may not have been legally adopted by the family.  A de facto adopted child should not be permitted subsequently to sponsor his or her natural parents for landing as members of the family class  (except where the natural parents who have been presumed dead are subsequently located and wish to be reunited with their child.)

R29.The special programs should be revived and updated to allow refugees in Canada to sponsor members of their extended family who find themselves in desperate situations.

R31.The government should take measures to ensure that family reunification for refugees is not obstructed or delayed by the existence of the various fees for landing.

R32.The government should give priority to finding some resolution for the thousands of refugees unable to be landed for lack of satisfactory identity documents.

  1.  Urge its members to study and endorse the report and raise its recommendations in correspondence with the government.
Working Group: 

NGO access

Resolution number: 
29
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. The Sub-Committee of the Whole on International Protection of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) meets in closed session, in the absence of non-governmental organizations;
  2. The "friends of the rapporteur" which drafts the decisions and conclusions to be approved by the Executive Committee of the UNHCR also meets in closed session, in the absence of non-governmental organizations;
  3. The Government of Canada participates in both the Sub-Committee of the Whole on International Protection and the committee called "friends of the rapporteur";
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR call on Government of Canada to bring to both the Sub-Committee of the Whole on International Protection and the "friends of the rapporteur" a request that non-governmental organizations be allowed to be present and to participate in the workings of both these committees.

Working Group: 

Minimum standards

Resolution number: 
28
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. The Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees is the only intergovernmental body in the U.N. system which has responsibility specifically for the international protection of refugees;
  2. The denial of fairness of refugee determination procedures can lead to the rejection of real refugees in error;
  3. Refugee determination procedures in signatory states to the Refugee Convention vary widely, and often do not provide for fairness in refugee determination;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the Canadian Council for Refugees calls on the Government of Canada and the International Council of Voluntary Agencies to request that the Executive Committee of the UNHCR approve and open for signature an international agreement on minimum procedural standards for considering refugee claims.

Working Group: 

Post determination review

Resolution number: 
27
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. The CCR has prepared a report, dated October 18, 1993, reviewing the serious problems with the Post-Determination Refugee Claimant in Canada Class (PDRCCC);
  2. The post determination review process under the current regulations has resulted in an acceptance rate of less than one percent and this process is wholly unsatisfactory to the NGO community and unfair to the refugee claimants;
  3. The regulations adopted to define this process are unduly restrictive and do not permit many worthy cases to be considered fairly;
  4. The CCR has received evidence of instances which may amount to cruel or inhuman or degrading treatment of victims of torture and other persons of concern to members;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That:

  1. The CCR call for an independent and impartial inquiry into this treatment;
  2. The CCR demand that the government revise the criteria for the review process so that the immigration officials' discretion not be unduly fettered and normal humanitarian considerations be addressed;
  3. The CCR ask that the government make a clear commitment not to deport torture victims, and particularly victims of rape, unless there be clear and imperative reasons to deport these persons related to serious criminality;
  4. The CCR request that the evaluation under the post-determination review be completely separated from the officials in charge of deportation and that the review officers receive proper training in Canada's international obligations;
  5. The CCR call upon the government to address in an effective and open fashion all the concerns raised by the recent report by the CCR.
Working Group: 

Disparity in the delivery of legal aid among provinces

Resolution number: 
26
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. 1.The CCR is still concerned with the quality and accessibility of legal counsel for refugee claimants;
  2. The CCR passed Resolution 21 at the May 1993 consultation concerning the disparity between provincial legal aid plans and Resolution 14 at the May 1992 consultation concerning Quebec legal aid plan, yet those concerns remain unaddressed;
  3. There is a Quebec Parliamentary Committee studying the delivery of the legal aid plan;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That:

  1. The CCR write the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and request that he consider direct funding to provincial legal aid plans to ensure adequate delivery of legal services to refugee claimants;
  2. The CCR write the appropriate boards or officials administering the various provincial legal aid plans and raise our concerns about the inadequate compensation for lawyers and/or the lack of necessary preparation time for hearings and judicial review;
  3. The CCR express its concerns to the Quebec Parliamentary Committee prior to November 27, 1993 about the extremely low compensation, lack of sufficient preparation time for hearings and judicial review paid to Quebec lawyers when compared with Ontario or British Columbia.
Working Group: 

Request for intervention to the Supreme Court

Resolution number: 
25
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. The Federal Court of Appeal recognized in the Cheung case that a woman fearing forced sterilization in P.R.C. is a member of a social group and a Convention refugee;
  2. In a subsequent decision, the Chan case, the Federal Court of Appeal maintained, with a dissent, that a man fearing forced sterilization is not a member of a social group and is not a Convention refugee;
  3. This latter decision is pending leave to appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada;
  4. This latter decision has the effect of restricting the scope of the definition of social group as developed by the Supreme Court in the Ward case;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR intervene in this case if leave is granted, subject to availability of funds.

Working Group: 

Backlog

Resolution number: 
24
June 1993
Whereas: 
  1. In December 1988 the government promised refugee claimants in the Refugee Claimant Backlog a swift and simple resolution of their cases;
  2. Since 1989 the CCR and its members have repeatedly responded to evidence of stress and misery resulting from this protracted process by calls to the previous government to allow the persons to proceed to landing;
  3. Some persons have been denied landing because their spouse has a minor criminal infraction;
  4. Almost 5 years later in November 1993 there are persons remaining in Canada whose status has not yet been resolved;
  5. A person has the right to have such a civil suit resolved in a reasonable time, which is less than 5 years;
  6. Many persons remain under constant threat of removal from a country where they have become established because their situation has not been finally resolved by the federal government;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR and its members now call upon the federal government to suspend removal of persons in the refugee claimant backlog and allow them and their families to be processed for landing in Canada.

Working Group: 

Appointment and reviews of members of CRDD

Resolution number: 
23
June 1993
Whereas: 
  1. The CCR passed resolution #11 and #18 at the May 1992 Consultation;
  2. The CCR is still concerned with the quality and the independence of the CRDD members;
  3. To be suitable Board members must have positive attitudes towards people of diverse cultures backgrounds and should not stereotype;
  4. Board members ought to be sensitive to the unique needs of refugee women claimants and be aware of the special forms of persecution directed at women;
  5. The previous government addressed part only of the concern by advertising vacancies and allowing for disciplining and removal of members;
  6. A political culture of cynicism and callousness towards refugees has developed in some regions and among some board members;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR contact the new Minister of Immigration and request that:

  1. Resolution #11 and #18 be implemented and a continuous program of sensitivity training be established;
  2. The CCR and appropriate regional Bars be involved in the review and confirmation of continuing contracts of members;
  3. The IRB develop a continuous review of Board members who are unsuitable and develop a procedure to remove or discipline such members.
Working Group: 

Canada - U.S. memorandum of understanding

Resolution number: 
22
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. There is now available a draft memorandum of understanding between Canada and the U.S. to provide for the allocation of determination of refugee claims between the two countries;
  2. This draft memorandum has not been signed and may be changed if the governments of the two countries agree;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR ask the governments of the U.S. and Canada to amend the memorandum of understanding to incorporate the following changes:

  1. Country of Determination
    1. The country of determination should be the one chosen by the claimant.
    2. If the rule of country of choice is not accepted, and the rule of first arrival remains, the rule of first arrival should not apply in every case.
    3. Where the claimant has a family member in one state, and the country of first arrival is another, the claimant should be free to choose between the country of first arrival and the country where the family member is present.
    4. "Present" for this purpose means physically present. It would cover family members who have no status in the country of choice, but are only there for the purpose of making a refugee claim.
    5. Family member, for this purpose, means both the family class and assisted relatives.
    6. Where the claimant has a visa for one state and the country of first arrival is another, then the claimant should be able to choose between the country of first arrival and the country of visa issuance.
    7. Where the claimant has been lawfully present in the country of second arrival at any time prior to the claim, the claimant should be able to choose the country of claim.
    8. A country of transit should not be considered a country of first arrival.
  2.   Safeguards
    1. The parties should agree to apply minimum standards of procedural fairness in the determination of refugee claims. The agreed minimum standards would be listed in the memorandum.
    2. The parties should agree not to deter the making or maintaining of refugee claims either by detention or by any other means.
  3.   Access
    1. The parties should each agree to grant access to its refugee determination system on the merits of the claim to every person allocated under this agreement.
    2. The undertaking to examine claims should include persons who are at the border as well as persons who are in the country.
  4. Confidentiality
    1. Any information exchanged under this agreement about individuals should be considered confidential and may not be passed on to any third party.
    2. Any information about an individual that is exchanged under this agreement must be accessible to that individual without regard to any exclusion that may exist in the privacy legislation of either country about information exchanged between governments.
  5. Appeals
    1. The parties should establish a joint appeal tribunal to consider and decide on appeals from persons whose determination of claims have been allocated under this agreement, and who have been denied refugee recognition.
    2. The appeal tribunal should be a judicial body independent from both governments.
    3. Access to the tribunal should be subject to an admissibility requirement. The tribunal should be able to consider any appeal from a person allocated under the memorandum where there is a reasonable possibility that the determination would have been different if the claim had been in the other country.
    4. The appeal tribunal should have the power to reverse a negative determination and determine the person to be a refugee.
    5. The appeal tribunal would also have a power to decide disputes between the two state parties or between claimants and a state party on the country of allocation.
  6. Third Countries
    1. Removal of a person allocated under this agreement to a third country should not be possible unless the claimant has a right to have his/her claim considered on the merits in the third country.
    2. Removal of a person allocated under this agreement to a third country should not be possible unless there is an agreement with the third country that incorporates all the provisions that are in this memorandum.
  7. Status of the Memorandum
    1. The memorandum should be a legally binding agreement between the state parties enforceable by refugee claimants.
    2. The parties should undertake to provide to claimants free access to the courts of their countries for the enforcement of this agreement.
    3. All international human rights or refugee protection instruments by which a signatory state may be bound, including the Geneva Convention for the Protection of Refugees and Protocol, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Charter of the Organization of American States, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Convention against Torture, should be respected in the application of this memorandum by that signatory state. In case of conflict between an international human rights or refugee instrument by which a signatory state is bound and this memorandum, the international human rights or refugee instrument should predominate.
  8. Quotas
    1. Except in the case of a claimant whose claim has already been determined on its merits by one of the signatory states, each party should not, in any year, invoke the memorandum of agreement to allocate determination of a claim until after that country has accepted for determination on the merits a minimum number of refugee claims. The minimum for Canada should be 30,000.
  9. A Coordinating Committee
    1. A Coordinating Committee should be established, to consist of representatives of Canada, the U.S., non-governmental organizations, and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. The Committee would be responsible for supervising the administration of the memorandum. The Committee would set the minimum numbers that would have to be reached to make the memorandum operational.
Working Group: 

Racist immigration report attacking somali community

Resolution number: 
21
November 1993
Whereas: 
  1. Irreparable damage has been done to the Somali people in Canada as a result of an explicitly racist, anti-islamic and anti-refugee report by A. Lelievre of the Intelligence Unit;
  2. The November 12 declaration of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Sergio Marchi, fails to respond adequately to the report and its implications in the community;
  3. Refugee communities remain vulnerable to scapegoating during times of severe economic recession, and therefore rely on government to deflect such attacks;
  4. This incident has had a particularly traumatizing impact on Somali refugee women, particularly single mothers, who have experienced increased harassment from welfare officers in recent months;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That:

  1. The CCR write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to demand a full enquiry with disclosure into the mandate of the Intelligence Unit, the mandate and history of the Welfare and Refugee Fraud (W.A.R.F.) project, and the extent to which other refugee communities have been singled out;
  2. The CCR demand that the Intelligence Unit cease the W.A.R.F. project and request the Minister to indicate what disciplinary action has been taken against the author of the offending report;
  3. The CCR write Ontario Liberal leader, the Honourable Lyn McLeod, to demand that she issue an apology to the Somali and refugee communities for her unsubstantiated allegations, which generated considerable negative publicity;
  4. The CCR complain to the Canadian Human Rights Commissioner concerning the actions of Lyn McLeod, the Immigration Intelligence Unit and the official responsible for the report, A. Lelievre;
  5. The CCR make or facilitate a complaint to the Canadian and/or Provincial Press Council for the unfounded and inflammatory articles by Moira Farrow in the Vancouver Sun.
  6. The CCR urge the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to institute a full investigation of the extent of racism and discrimination against visible minority people by Immigration officials in his department and develop plans for the elimination of racism in the department and that this plan include implementation of employment equity.
Working Group: 

Landing fees for convention refugees

Resolution number: 
39
June 1994
Whereas: 
  1. Persons recognized as Convention Refugees are recent arrivals in Canada;
  2. Their economic resources may be limited;
  3. Family reunification is a priority;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Condemn the imposition of cost recovery fees for landing application from all Convention refugees and their dependants;
  2. Request that the government amend the regulations to eliminate these processing fees; or in the alternative, that the government accept and process landing applications from all Convention refugees and their dependants when they are received and defer the payment of processing fees until the point of landing.
Working Group: 

Stays of removal orders

Resolution number: 
38
June 1994
Whereas: 
  1. Section 49 (1) of the Immigration Act provides for stay of execution of removal orders when a rejected refugee claimant makes an application for leave to appeal to the Federal Court;
  2. Section 49 (1.1) of the Immigration Act provides that there is no stay for persons "residing or sojourning in the United States" where a section 20 (border) report was made on that person;
  3. The Immigration department is purporting to apply section 49(1.1) to persons who have been residing in Canada for more than one year, telling them to leave while their application for leave to appeal is still before the Federal Court;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR demand that the government cease the practice of removing refugee claimants residing in Canada who entered Canada from the United States and whose applications for leave to appeal are before the Federal Court.

Working Group: 

False information on cost of refugee claims

Resolution number: 
37
June 1994
Whereas: 
  1. Government officials repeatedly refer to the figure of $50,000.00 as the cost per refugee claimant;
  2. This figure is without basis in fact;
  3. The repeated use of this incorrect figure is prejudicial to refugees;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That

  1. The CCR request that the Government of Canada investigate the true costs of each refugee claim and produce its findings
  2. The Legal Affairs Committee of the CCR be directed to investigate the possibility of initiating legal proceedings against the Department of Immigration for "spreading false news" and for knowingly distributing incorrect information that is prejudicial to refugee claimants.
Working Group: 

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