CCR Resolutions Database

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  • Res.: 6
    1. Section 44 of the Immigration Act prevents a person from making a claim if they have been issued an exclusion order;
    2. Senior Immigration Officers were given the power to issue exclusion orders under the former Bill C-86;
    3. Some Senior Immigration Officers (SIOs) have not been ensuring that persons concerned are aware that they must claim refugee status or they are ineligible and barred from later making a refugee claim;
    4. Many refugees believe wrongly that they must be admitted to Canada before they can make a refugee claim;
    5. Due to poor interpretation, inadequate or poor explanation or undue pressure persons at risk have been removed or detained;
    6. There have been many incidents such as the recent case of stowaways in Halifax where the SIO appears to have failed to ensure that the applicants knew of their right to claim refugee status;
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Write the Minister and explain how Section 44 is being abused by SIOs and request an amendment to ensure that a person may be able to make a refugee claim even if an exclusion order has been issued;
    2. Write to the Director General of Enforcement, CIC, and demand that he issue guidelines to SIOs that ensure that refugee claimants are cautioned that they must make their claim before they issue an exclusion order and that they make sure that the person concerned has a full and fair opportunity to make an informed decision.


  • Res.: 11
    1. The Convention Refugee Determination Division intends to introduce a pilot project in Vancouver requiring that all refugee claimants go through the expedited process interview with an RCO that would be tape recorded, with the transcripts available should the case go to full hearing;
    2. The process will unnecessarily complicate the hearing process for those cases which are required to proceed to full hearing;
    3. The process will prejudice the claimants who go to full hearing by making it known to the Board members conducting the full hearing that the claimant has not been recommended by the expedited process;
    4. Use of the recording of the pre-hearing conference or RCO notes at the full hearing will create a hearing process which overly focuses on contradictions between the PIF, the transcript of the pre-hearing conference and the full hearing and create an overly adversarial environment during the hearing;
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Oppose the introduction of the Vancouver Immigration and Refugee Board pilot project of holding obligatory pre-hearing conferences which will be recorded;
    2. Urge that the expedited hearing process conserve its administrative autonomy and remain completely separate from the full hearing process;
    3. Urge that the existence of the expedited hearing process continue not to be disclosed to the Board members conducting the full hearing process.
  • Res.: 4
    1. The actions of the Taliban army of Afghanistan have once again made the world aware of the unique risks faced by women;
    2. The Government of Canada prides itself on its guidelines on gender persecution;
    3. The number of women accepted by Canada as victims of gender persecution under the Women At Risk Program is disproportionately small in comparison to the enormous numbers of women refugees;
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Obtain comparative statistics from the UNHCR on admissions under the Women At Risk Program in Canada and other nations;
    2. Write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Ministre des Relations avec les citoyens et de l'Immigration du Québec requesting an increased commitment to resettle Women at Risk and that this be reflected in the Canadian and Québec Annual Levels Plans for 1998 and following years, which plans should include an implementation plan;
    3. Express concerns regarding the Women At Risk Program in its submission to the UNHCR Formal Consultation on Resettlement and request follow up from UNHCR and government participants.
    4. Request the UNHCR and CIC to establish a Working Group together with NGOs (both settlement and sponsoring) to improve the Women at Risk program. Settlement/Overseas Protection
  • Res.: 9
    1. The IRB in Montreal has adopted a new policy on scheduling refugee claims and as a result will be hearing a large percentage of more recently arrived refugee claimants ahead of claims that have been waiting for a longer time;
    2. This policy will increase the hardship of many refugee claimants who have already been suffering the effects of long delays;
    3. Administrative needs should not be put ahead of the rights of refugees to a just and speedy hearing of their claims;
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Is opposed to the implementation of the new IRB policy, which will put recent claims ahead of pre-existing claims for their own administrative purposes;
    2. Express to the IRB our deep concerns and opposition to this policy.
  • Res.: 14
    1. The DROC regulations have been eliminated;
    2. Chapter 1E 9 of the Immigration Manual has been changed to include guidelines dealing with applicants who have not been removed from Canada for a considerable period of time;
    3. The emphasis in the guidelines is placed on economic self-sufficiency by requiring that applicants be successfully established under the criteria used for Illegal De Facto Residents (listed in IE 9.15(3));
    4. These establishment criteria may discriminate against vulnerable groups (such as the elderly, women and children);
    5. Unlike the former DROC regulations, the guideline requiring full cooperation of the applicant with the department places too great an onus on the applicant and too much potential for inconsistent interpretation by the department;
    6. The new guidelines are very restrictive and apply only to those few countries where removals have been suspended or where the applicant has had to go and apply to their government for travel documents and does not include individuals who have just not been removed;
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That CCR urge the government to amend the guidelines to:

    1. Ensure that people who through no fault of their own have not achieved economic self-sufficiency but have otherwise become successfully established are not excluded from being accepted for permanent residence;
    2. Clarify that full cooperation means that applicants have done nothing to interfere with their removal;
    3. Delete the reference in paragraph (a)(i) and (ii) of the guidelines to ensure that the policy applies to anyone who has remained in Canada.
  • Res.: 2
    1. Some provincial governments are refusing to provide social services, health services and benefits for Canadian children born to parents waiting for status;
    2. These Canadian children face discriminatory and arbitrary treatment that is counter to their fundamental rights;
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Document the policies and practices of the different provinces in this area through its regional contacts;
    2. File complaints with the appropriate Human Rights Commissions (federal/provincial) to denounce these discriminatory practices of the provinces towards these Canadian children;
    3. In addition investigate possible international recourses with regard to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in order to file a complaint.
  • Res.: 7
    1. The Pilot "Mail-In" Project first implemented by CIC at Pearson Airport about 6 months ago is being implemented in Fort Erie and Niagara Falls, Ontario as of May 15, 1997;
    2. There is no public knowledge of any evaluation regarding its value nor was there any consultation or discussion with NGOs or organizations working with refugees previous to its initial implementation or extended implementation in Fort Erie and in Niagara Falls;
    3. Refugee claimants no longer have the same access to assistance from Canadian legal counsel nor Canadian refugee support workers familiar with Canadian law and process;
    4. American refugee support workers are being overwhelmed with paperwork, lack needed resources and are unfamiliar with the Canadian system and the after-effects of what may be written on these forms;
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Request a public evaluation of the project at Pearson International Airport involving NGOs, legal workers and organizations working with refugees which would include the following:

      a)the criteria on which the decision was made to extend this project to Niagara Falls and Fort Erie;

      b)the consideration of the extent to which Canada Immigration considers this policy to be beneficial to refugee claimants;

    2. Oppose the extension of this "write-in" process to ports of entry in other provinces of Canada.
  • Res.: 12
    1. The Federal Court of Canada has been extremely reticent to apply the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international human rights obligations in the judicial review process for refugee claimants and non-residents;
    2. Immigration and refugee practitioners are frustrated with the negative attitude of the Federal Court to refugee and immigration issues;
    3. The Federal Court leave requirements and the process for certification for appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal afford less access to the Court by refugee claimants and immigrants than the average Canadian has to appeal a conviction for a traffic ticket;
    4. The news media and notes produced before the Supreme Court of Canada have shown that there have been improper contacts between the Ministry of Justice and the Federal Court and there are currently inquiries by the Canadian Judicial Council and the Ministry of Justice;
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Demand that the independence of the Federal Court be reaffirmed and that, more particularly, contacts between the government and its quasi-judicial bodies and the Federal Court without the presence of the opposing parties or non-governmental organizations cease immediately and that the current inquiries be expanded to include such contacts;
    2. Express its concern to the Minister of Justice that the Federal Court is not consistently applying the Charter and our international human rights obligations and that it is overly restrictive in its application of judicial review in its handling of immigration and refugee matters and ask the Minister of Justice to commission an independent study on the effectiveness of the judicial review remedy;
    3. Ask that the federal government appoint judges to the Federal Court who have an immigration and refugee law background, particularly those who are members of the immigration bar.
  • Res.: 5
    1. Presently no guidelines exist at the IRB with respect to making children's best interests a primary consideration in appropriate cases before it;
    2. The need to assign primary consideration to the best interests of children is required by international legal instruments to which Canada is a party;
    3. The Federal Court of Canada has failed to give effect to the best interests of children representing more than a consideration in immigration matters affecting children's interests;
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Encourage the IRB to develop guidelines for the Immigration Appeal Division and the Convention Refugee Determination Division appertaining to the best interests of children in light of the principle of family reunification and Canada's international legal obligations, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Hague Convention on adoptions;
    2. Urge the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to adopt and implement the guidelines so developed for both inland and visa office cases.
  • Res.: 10
    1. The Immigration and Refugee Board has been handling all claims to Convention refugee status from Chileans, Mexicans and other nationalities as if all such claims were manifestly unfounded claims (MUCs);
    2. This practice of the IRB denies the individuality of claims and goes against the policy of case by case determination;
    3. This practice by the IRB may lead to the rejection of valid claims;
    4. This practice of the IRB may be applied to refugee claimants from other countries;
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR demand that the IRB take steps to stop the practice of treating all claims from particular countries as if they were all manifestly unfounded.

  • Res.: 15
    1. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has introduced the Undocumented Convention Refugee in Canada Class (UCRCC) as a proposed solution to the problems created by 46.04(8) of the Immigration Act;
    2. The UCRCC is only effective until January 1999;
    3. The House Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration rejected the five year waiting period before applying for landed immigrant status;
    4. The five year wait under UCRCC will cause:
      (1)undue hardship for refugees (such as extended or permanent family separation);
      (2)significant barriers to successful integration of refugees in relation to education, employment, health care and travel outside Canada;
    5. All people subject to the UCRCC have already been recognized as Convention refugees;
    6. 80% of the people affected by the UCRCC regulations are women and children who do not fit the profile of war criminals or security risk that the Minister referred to in justifying the five year waiting period;
    7. Only two countries, Somalia and Afghanistan, are presently included in the UCRCC, and there has been no solution proposed for persons from other countries in similar situations;
    Therefore be it resolved:

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

    1. Abolish the five-year waiting period provided for under the UCRCC and land all Convention refugees using the identification documentation which they already have and/or accepting statutory declarations as proof of identification;
    2. Allocate resources to the granting of landed status within six months to those persons who have already completed the UCRCC waiting period;
    3. Notify all eligible members of the UCRCC of their eligibility so that they know that they may apply for landing;

    AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the CCR write to the Québec Ministre des Relations avec les citoyens et de l'Immigration, requesting his support for our position on this issue.

  • Res.: 3
    1. The Canadian Red Cross has presented its programs at CCR meetings;
    2. The policy of not allowing blood collection from non-English or French speakers may resolve practical issues of informed consent, but has the effect of singling out and demeaning residents of Canada who do not speak either French or English;
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Write to the Canadian Red Cross and express the CCR's concerns;
    2. Demand that the Canadian Red Cross renounce the exclusion of non-French and English speakers from the blood donor program and take immediate steps to allow for participation of all residents of Canada in the program.
  • Res.: 3
    1. The federal government has recognized the need to build welcoming communities as an integral component of successful settlement.
    2. The CCR has repeatedly (resolution 7, June 94; resolution 3, Nov. 94 and resolution 20, May 95) called upon the government to address the increasing backlash against refugees and immigrants.
    3. The media plays a determining role in shaping public opinion.
    4. There has been no significant proactive leadership role on the part of the federal government in highlighting the contributions of immigrants and refugees, and the role of settlement agencies through the mass media.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Call on the federal government to launch a large-scale, proactive mass media campaign to promote the contributions of refugees and immigrants.
    2. Urge that this campaign include significant input from refugee, immigrant and settlement communities and their advocacy agencies.
  • Res.: 8
    1. A humanitarian tragedy is being played out in Zaire and Rwanda and urgent action from the international community is needed.
    2. Hundreds of thousands of Rwandan refugees have repatriated from Zaire to Rwanda, resulting in the need for a massive settlement program in Rwanda.
    3. The Government of Canada has announced its intention to lead an international military force to protect humanitarian relief operations in eastern Zaire.
    4. Gross human rights violations and a lack of a functioning judicial system are major impediments to reconciliation in Rwanda.
    5. Leaders of the 1994 Rwandan genocide are living freely in Zaire and other neighbouring countries.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR urge the Government of Canada to:

    1. Support the safe and voluntary repatriation of remaining Rwandan refugees in Zaire, Tanzania and Burundi under close supervision of NGOs and international bodies such as the UNHCR and UNCHR.
    2. Exercise influence and push for firm and coordinated international action to create a favourable atmosphere for repatriation by:
      a) Helping the Rwandan government and international NGOs in Rwanda to continue with community economic development projects by providing financial and technical assistance.
      b) Diminishing the degree of fear of refugees to repatriation by urging the Government of Rwanda to end human rights violations.
      c) Cooperate with foreign donors in order to provide logistical and financial assistance to rebuild the Rwandan judicial system.
      d) Influence the Rwandan government to quickly begin trials.
    3. Extend financial, logistical and moral support to the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda based in Arusha, Tanzania, and influence the governments of Zaire, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and Cameroons to cooperate with this Tribunal to ensure that criminals are brought to justice.
    4. Support a concerted political action to force the government of Zaire to stop permitting the former Rwandan government's militia and the forces of interhamwe, responsible for the 1994 genocide, from using Zairian territory for military operations against the government of national reconciliation in Rwanda.
  • Res.: 13
    1. When the Government of Canada first negotiated with NGOs to join in the resettlement of refugees through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program, NGOs agreed to participate on the condition that the three principles of partnership, additionality and naming were guaranteed.
    2. These three principles were clearly articulated and supported in the Private Sponsorship Review.
    3. The Government of Canada regularly attempts to dilute these principles.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR write to the Government of Canada clearly reiterating the original principles of the Private Sponsorship Program and expressing our concern over Citizenship and Immigration Canada's regular attempts to dilute or discard these principles.

  • Res.: 18
    1. The CCR has passed res. 11, May 1992; res. 23 November 1993 and res. 29, June 1994.
    2. Appointments to the Immigration and Refugee Board remain political, despite the existence of an advisory committee on appointments.
    3. This politicization manifests itself not only in poorly qualified candidates being appointed or reappointed, but as well, highly qualified candidates not being appointed or reappointed.
    4. The continued political nature of appointments means that there remains a core of Immigration and Refugee Board Refugee Division members who are not capable of functioning competently without the assistance of another Refugee Division member present at the hearing to assist them.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR call on the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to:

    1. Withdraw from Bill C-49 the proposal that Refugee Division panels be reduced from two to one.
    2. Stop the appointment of IRB members based on political factors and instead base such decisions on the merit and competence of candidates.
  • Res.: 1
    1. The CCR recognizes that racism is systemic in Canadian society, and that organizations committed to social justice must build systemic structures to promote anti-racism.
    2. Racism reinforces xenophobia, increasing the obstacles to participation faced by many refugees and immigrants.
    3. The CCR is committed to promoting anti-racism within the CCR and among member organizations.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Endorse the Anti-racism policy developed by the Anti-Racism Core Group.
    2. Accept this policy as one of the organization's operational policies.
  • Res.: 6
    1. There is continual downsizing of direct service of CIC offices i.e.. mail-in services (Vegreville and Mississauga); reduction in CIC staff; reduction in hours of access; the use of tele-centres; and the introduction of 1-888 phone lines which direct calls from some provinces to offices located in another province.
    2. These changes are causing (a) a significant decrease in access to services, information and support (the existence of which allows clarification of information and procedures preventing delays and complications in individual immigration related issues); (b) a significant decrease in the quality of service due to less personal contact; (c) a significant increase in workload of NGOs and community support who lack resources to respond to the needs.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration expressing our concerns about her department's downsizing having a deleterious effect on services and increasing the work (unpaid) of NGOs and requesting that a freeze be put on any further downsizing of CIC staff providing direct client service.
    2. Include in this correspondence a request for a user evaluation to be done of mail-in services and use of local and 1-888 tele-centres.
    3. Request that CIC work with the CCR to develop a process which ensures quality and access of CIC services, federally and locally.
  • Res.: 11
    1. The situation for all Burmese refugees in Thailand remains precarious, but for Karen and other ethnic minorities it is particularly tenuous.
    2. Exit visas to Canada are only granted by the Royal Thai Government to those refugees who have obtained an offer of a sponsorship, have been approved by the Government of Canada, have UNHCR "person of concern" status and are in the "safe camp" for the required three month period.
    3. UNHCR "Person of Concern" status is rarely granted to Karen and other ethnic minority refugees in Thailand, and they are denied access to the "safe camp".
    4. Earlier CCR resolutions called on the Royal Thai Government not to require refugees to go to the "safe camp" to await resettlement, but this requirement is still in effect and is causing hardships and delays for refugees with approved sponsorships who are NOT in the "safe camp".
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Request that the Government of Canada urge that the Royal Thai Government grant exit visas to all refugees approved and accepted for resettlement in Canada, whether or not they are in the "safe camp".
    2. In the interim, urge the UNHCR to use its influence with the Royal Thai Government to admit all refugees, including Karen and other ethnic minorities with approved sponsorships, to the "safe camp" whence they can be approved for exit visas.
  • Res.: 16
    1. Refugee claimants eligible for landing in Canada through the DROC program often left their homeland for fear of persecution.
    2. The Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta is requiring that all eligible DROC applicants submit a passport as ID for landing purposes.
    3. Some refugee claimants eligible for acceptance into Canada through the DROC program are extremely afraid to approach the embassies of their homeland to request passports fearing that it could endanger their own lives or those of their loved ones in their homeland.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR request that CIC waive the requirement of specifically providing passports as ID in cases where DROC applicants fear that their life or the lives of their loved ones in their homeland could be put at risk by requesting such a passport at their embassy. Instead, other types of ID should be permitted for processing purposes.

  • Res.: 21
    1. The Tassé Report on Canada Immigration removal practices revealed widespread serious concerns, not only on the part of NGOs and the legal profession, but also from front-line removals staff, concerning the removals process.
    2. The Tassé Report concludes that CIC's renewal initiative requires greater emphasis on people. The Report urges that a code of ethics be developed and that a process for greater accountability be instituted for the removals staff.
    3. Policies announced or implemented by CIC have in effect been counter-productive to the spirit of the Tassé Report's recommendations. There have been more deportations and harsher treatment (including incarceration) of many people who are eventually deported to countries (such as Algeria) where life and safety are at grave risk. This situation has forced removals officers to be complicit in breaches of international covenants to which Canada is a signatory regarding security of the person.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR call on the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to implement the recommendation of the Tassé Report for greater accountability through:

    1. adoption of an effective code of ethics.
    2. training on ethical principles and standards for staff by persons qualified to deal effectively with these issues.
    3. setting up an independent complaints procedure.
    4. setting up a review mechanism to ensure continuing compliance with international standards.
  • Res.: 4
    1. The CCR has adopted and transmitted to the Government of Canada resolutions on Settlement Renewal (res. 4, May 1995, res. 2, November 1995, and res. 4, June 1996) which:
      a) Requested that national fora of all stakeholders be established to develop and monitor definitions of settlement, accountability mechanisms, and national principles and standards for settlement services.
      b) Developed for the government's review a set of national principles, including, inter alia, principles on client rights and eligibility for service, eligibility of service providers, priority setting processes, accountability mechanisms, and an enduring federal role.
    2. The consultation process on settlement renewal has indicated a growing reluctance on the part of the Government of Canada's preferred partners to take on increased responsibility for the administration of settlement services, and a growing apprehension among service providers that further devolution of the Government of Canada's responsibilities will undermine the integrity of settlement services.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Reaffirm its resolutions on Settlement Renewal.
    2. Call on the Government of Canada to:
    3. Establish a National Working Group on Issues related to Settlement Renewal.
    4. Halt the devolution of its responsibility for the administration of settlement services and maintain its primary responsibility for the settlement of immigrants and refugees.
    5. Work with existing provincial and regional authorities to ensure that service mechanisms and programs meet provincial and regional needs.
    6. In conjunction with all stakeholders, build on the experience and knowledge gained through the Settlement Renewal process to improve administrative and delivery systems, and develop nationally acceptable principles, definitions and standards for the funding, administration and delivery of settlement services.
    7. maintain and enhance the integrity of settlement services by ensuring that the current funding envelop which includes ISAP, HOST, LINC and AAP is not dismantled or reduced.
    8. Work towards achieving healthy partnerships which recognize and respect the autonomy and expertise of community agencies delivering settlement services.
    9. Make a commitment to see the above points as interdependent and to implement all of the above points.
  • Res.: 9
    1. The situation in southern Sudan is characterized by civil war, massive refugee flows, internal displacement, massive violations of human rights and chronic famine on an unprecedented scale.
    2. A peaceful solution is needed to end the civil war that has continued for 30 years.
    3. The international community should give urgent and concerted attention to the humanitarian tragedy of southern Sudan.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Use international fora to expose atrocities by the Sudanese government upon the people of southern Sudan.
    2. Call on the Government of Canada to bring the conditions of southern Sudanese to the attention of the appropriate UN bodies such as the Commission on Human Rights, the Security Council and the Department of Humanitarian Affairs.
    3. Call on the Government of Canada in cooperation with the UNHCR to address the security needs of Sudanese refugees and in particular Sudanese children.
  • Res.: 14
    1. Some refugees selected overseas are resettled in Canada without their immediate families (usually because they are in another country).
    2. Some refugees granted status by the IRB are advised not to include immediate family members on their permanent residence application, in the interests of speedier processing.
    3. Both of these groups of people may face financial barriers when they subsequently attempt to be reunited with their family, because they are no longer classified as refugees.
    4. There is inconsistency across Canada in the application of financial requirements for the sponsorship of spouses and dependent children.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR urge CIC to:

    1. Process the immediate family of refugees selected overseas simultaneously, even when they are in a different country.
    2. Stop advising refugees granted status by the IRB not to include their immediate family on their permanent residence application.
    3. Ensure that no financial requirements are demanded of refugees who have become permanent residents or Canadian citizens and who are seeking to sponsor their immediate family.
  • Res.: 19
    1. CIC's process for assessing country risk functions secretly and without public oversight or legal control.
    2. The CCR has condemned the functioning of the current post-determination review.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Demand full access to the records of the Advisory Committee on Country Conditions for Removal including the information sources of this committee.
    2. Write to the Minister asking for an open process, including an organized and systematic process for NGOs and human rights organizations to have input to this committee.
    3. Ask for an opportunity for NGO input into CIC's country profiles.