CCR Resolutions Database

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  • Res.: 5
    Whereas:
    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
    Whereas:
    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
    Whereas:
    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
    Whereas:
    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.: 8
    Whereas:
    1. The CCR has adopted a resolution strongly opposing any Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)/Safe Third Country Agreement (STC) between the United States and Canada;
    2. The United States government has recently passed regressive immigration legislation;
    3. This legislation has resulted in the summary removal of approximately 4,000 people from the US between April 1 and May 13, 1997, as a result of lack of identity documents;
    4. Some of the people who have been summarily removed have been en route to Canada to make refugee claims;
    5. These summary removals provide conclusive evidence that the United States is not meeting standards of protection articulated in the Geneva Convention;
    6. The Québec Ministre des Relations avec les citoyens et de l'Immigration has publicly supported the implementation of the MOA/STC agreement;
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Condemn this shift in US immigration policy and procedure and reiterate its strong opposition to the negotiation of any MOA or STC agreement;
    2. Write to the Québec Ministre des Relations avec les citoyens et de l'Immigration explaining our position on this issue and urging him to withdraw his support for the MOA/STC agreement.
  • Res.: 13
    Whereas:
    1. There have been recent changes to the Post Determination Refugee Claimants in Canada Class (PDRCC) instituting a rigid fifteen day deadline for application;
    2. The PDRCC review process will be simultaneous with the judicial review process before the Federal Court and as such is a duplication of cost and expense which may not be necessary if the judicial review is successful;
    3. It is onerous for counsel to do both the judicial review and the PDRCC submissions at the same time, which may result in a reduction in quality of representation;
    4. Changes in country conditions may occur after the PDRCC decision is made and before deportation, putting the applicant at risk if returned to his/her country of origin;
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That that the CCR urge that:

    1. The PDRCC review be applied to all rejected refugee claimants whether they apply for it or not;
    2. The PDRCC review be done shortly before removal, rather than after a negative CRDD decision or after a negative Federal Court decision;
    3. The PDRCC decisions be made under the auspices of the Immigration and Refugee Board, instead of by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and by qualified personnel with expertise in specific country conditions and international human rights standards and standards of procedural fairness.
    4. People with criminal convictions not be excluded from consideration for the PDRCC as it is against Canada's international obligations, and specifically against Canada's obligations as a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
  • Res.: 1
    Whereas:
    1. The Canadian Immigration Act and the Québec immigration law state that family reunification is a central objective of the Canadian and Québec immigration programs;
    2. Canada has signed and ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, all of which affirm the principle of family unity and that the family is entitled to protection by society and the state;
    3. The CCR has published an extensive report on family reunification and has passed various resolutions calling for the elimination of barriers to family reunification;
    4. The federal government continues to make changes in the Family Class regulations which serve to create further delays and barriers to reunification (i.e.. recent changes announced on March 18, 1997) and the Québec government has tightened the financial requirements for sponsors and has recently implemented a repayment program for defaulting sponsors without regard to their present financial situation;
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR call on the Government of Canada to:

    1. Repeal the amendments of March 18, 1997 to the Family Sponsorship regulations;
    2. Initiate a process of consultative meetings with the CCR and concerned communities to revise the Family Sponsorship Regulations in a manner consistent with Canada's international human rights obligations;
    3. Recognize both in legislation and in policy implementation that family unity is the cornerstone of healthy and effective settlement for refugees and immigrants;
    4. Ensure that legislation, policy and regulations consider the importance of family unity on the successful settlement and long-term contribution of vulnerable groups such as survivors of torture and trauma, women at risk, and others who come to Canada under humanitarian programs;

    AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the CCR call on the Government of Québec to review, in collaboration with the settlement agencies, its policy on defaulting sponsors to ensure that standards of fairness and equity are maintained in all situations.

  • Res.: 6
    Whereas:
    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
    Whereas:
    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
    Whereas:
    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
    Whereas:
    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.: 4
    Whereas:
    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
    Whereas:
    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
    Whereas:
    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
    Whereas:
    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.
  • Res.: 2
    Whereas:
    1. The CCR recognizes that racism is systemic in Canadian society and its institutions and that organizations committed to social justice must encourage structures that promote anti-racism.
    2. The Canadian government department of Multiculturalism and the Status of Women launched the Canadian Race Relations Foundation in recognition of injustices suffered by Japanese Canadians during the Second World War (Japanese-Canadian Redress Agreement) including the Japanese-Canadian head tax; this foundation has a mandate to do work on eliminating all forms of racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canada.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Call on the chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation to appoint a Task Force to examine refugee and immigration services, policies and structures in Canada for systemic racism.
    2. Call on the chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation to ensure that such a Task Force include refugees, immigrants, refugee and immigrant advocacy organizations and experts in systemic racism in Canada.
  • Res.: 7
    Whereas:
    1. There are apparent administrative and service delivery problems in the current Interim Federal Health Care Program in relation to: a) access to services. b) time delays in receiving essential health care. c) loss of health care practitioners due to delays in payment and the complexity of paperwork. d) a lack of harmony between the provinces and the Federal Program. all of which creates risks to health and well-being of the clients.
    2. There are also concerns with the legality of providing a different level of basic health care service for some people living in Canada as compared with others.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Request a meeting between representatives of the CCR and the responsible officials in the federal government to share the issues and problems perceived in the Interim Federal Health Care Program and attempt to cooperate in making appropriate revisions to ensure efficient and relevant health care service delivery to the clients covered by the Interim Federal Health Care Program.
    2. Working together with provincial umbrella organizations, insist that the provincial and federal governments address gaps in coverage and establish consistency of service and coverage across Canada.
  • Res.: 12
    Whereas:
    1. CCR Resolution #10 of May 1995 called on the Government of Canada to accept Afghan refugees and expedite their processing at the relevant visa posts abroad.
    2. There are recent reports from Afghanistan about inhumane treatment of women including preventing women from appearing in public, from obtaining education, and from working outside their homes which has especially affected those widows who are the only breadwinners for their families.
    3. Amnesty International and other human rights groups have singled out the extreme human rights violations of the regimes and warring factions in Afghanistan especially against women.
    4. Afghan women continue to face great risks to their personal safety and security in the highly unsafe refugee camps in neighbouring countries.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR urge the Government of Canada to respond to the deterioration of the security of Afghan women by resettling Afghan refugee women and their families through speedy processing of private sponsorships including Women at Risk, and through resuming the government sponsorship program for the region.

  • Res.: 17
    Whereas:
    1. The situation in Zaire is acknowledged by both political and human rights experts to be very volatile, with human rights violations and violence rampant in various parts of the country.
    2. There is effectively no central government in control in Zaire at this time.
    3. Canada, recognizing this serious situation, is presently leading a major humanitarian initiative in Zaire and the Great Lakes Region.
    4. A growing number of Zairois (mostly in Montreal) have already received, or will be receiving, departure dates for the near future.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Urgently request the Prime Minister of Canada to address this inconsistency in Canadian policy by ordering an immediate suspension of deportations to Zaire.
    2. Request a clarification from the UNHCR on the dangers of deporting people to Zaire at this time.
  • Res.: 22
    Whereas:
    1. The process under article 40.1 of the Immigration Act provides for mandatory detention when the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Solicitor-General have signed a security certificate for people who may be refugees or refugee claimants.
    2. The person cited in these security certificates does not have the right to know the evidence against them.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Condemn the security certificate process and particularly the provisions for mandatory detention without review and asks for the immediate repeal of this section of the Act.
    2. Urge the Government of Canada to suspend immediately the use of these provisions which clearly violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canada's international human rights obligations;
    3. Call upon the Canadian Bar Association and human rights NGOs to condemn these procedures which violate fundamental human rights.
  • Res.: 5
    Whereas:
    1. Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) is an integral part of settlement through its orientation of newcomers to Canada and the cultural adaptation that occurs through its instruction.
    2. LINC has not provided and was never intended to provide English competency which would enable immigrants to find employment.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR urge CIC:

    1. Not to classify LINC as a training program as this would result in its transfer to the province as part of the federal commitment to devolve all training to the provinces.
    2. To continue to see LINC as an integral part of settlement services.
  • Res.: 10
    Whereas:
    1. The conflict in the Sudan is over three decades old.
    2. Many Sudanese refugees languish in refugee camps in Kenya, Uganda and elsewhere in Africa.
    3. There is no imminent likelihood of these refugees repatriating to the Sudan.
    4. The majority of these refugees are youth with no opportunities for education past the secondary level.
    5. There is little opportunity for these youth to resettle to a third country.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR urge the Government of Canada, through consultations with other donor countries and international agencies, to develop a fund to provide educational opportunities, at the tertiary level, to Sudanese refugees in Kenya, Uganda and elsewhere in Africa.

  • Res.: 15
    Whereas:
    1. The CCR moved a resolution in June 1996 clearly outlining requirements for an acceptable solution to the ID issue.
    2. The CCR submitted a detailed brief in October 1996.
    3. Article 27 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees states that contracting states shall issue identity papers to any refugee in their territory who does not possess a valid travel document.
    4. Draft regulations published on November 16, 1996 fails to address any of the preconditions contained in the resolutions and the brief.
    5. The proposed regulations will discriminate on the basis of race and national origin and create a measurable hardship for Convention refugees in Canada and their families abroad.
    6. The impact of these regulations will be particularly harsh on families and children.
    7. The regulations demonstrate a clear departure from Canada's commitment to the protection of refugees.
    8. The regulations do not respond to solutions, offered in good faith by representatives of Somali, Iranian, Afghan, Sri Lankan and other communities in interminable and numerous meetings with the government.
    9. The draft regulations do nothing for people in refugee-like situations.
    10. The Immigration and Refugee Board had determined the identity of anyone found to be a Convention refugee.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR:

    1. Reject the draft ID regulations published November 16, 1996.
    2. Call on the Canadian government to: a) Amend the Immigration Act to remove the requirement for identity documents for Convention refugees, and others in refugee-like situations. b) Withdraw the proposed regulations; or in the alternative:
      i) commit resources to land affected persons within 6 months.
      ii) direct immigration officers to give greater weight to personal interviews and other documentary evidence when primary documents cannot be obtained.
      iii) make an exemption to permit family reunification where the passage of time due to delays in landing processing has prevented sponsorship.
    3. Submit a detailed brief of their criticisms of the regulations and call on member agencies to do the same.
    4. Call on the UNHCR to condemn the proposed regulations on the grounds that they violate Canada's international obligation to protect families, children and refugees and to facilitate family reunification.
  • Res.: 20
    Whereas:
    1. The refoulement of Ms Mbulu after Canadian post-claim procedures against the express wishes of the UN Rapporteur against Torture and the many cases before international human rights committees and commissions reveal a problem with Canadian post-claim procedures.
    2. International law requires a simple, that is one-step, court procedure when fundamental human rights are at issue.
    3. Canada has agreed to ensure or guarantee human rights for everyone on the territory, including when there is a real risk of a violation of a fundamental right consequential to expulsion.
    4. There was a major report revealing the inadequacy of risk review and humanitarian and compassionate review by Davis and Waldman which recommended inclusion of international human rights standards.
    5. Some way of better acquainting Canadians with current international human rights standards is needed.
    Therefore be it resolved:

    That the CCR urge the Government of Canada to:

    1. Review legislation to ensure a simple (one step) effective court remedy when fundamental rights arise in expulsion.
    2. Write to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights asking them to hold a seminar in Canada with international experts from international committees and commissions and members of the Canadian legal community to advise on current requirements of international human rights law for the new legislation.
  • Res.: 3
    Whereas:
    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.