25 March 2001



Human rights obligations Refugee resettlement Refugee Determination in Canada
  • The bill increases the bars to access to the refugee determination system, notably by denying any second claims as well as claims where there are issues of criminality or security. The CCR recommends that all claimants be granted access to the Immigration and Refugee Board and that any issues of eligibility be addressed there. Only eligibility issues that are consistent with the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees should be retained. Second claims should be addressed through the introduction of a re-opening mechanism.
  • Detention
  • The CCR is firmly opposed to the proposed expansions in powers of detention, which permit detention on the basis of administrative convenience and suspicion, broader powers of detention on the basis of identity, increased scope for detention without warrant, and link between mode of arrival and likelihood of detention. The CCR recommends that the only grounds for detention be danger to the public and flight risk.
  • Applications for permanent residence by refugees
  • Permanent residence applications made by refugees should be addressed under Part 2, Refugee Protection.

  • People accepted by the Immigration and Refugee Board or in the PRRA as refugees or persons in need of protection should be granted permanent residence automatically, by operation of law.
  • Family reunification
  • The CCR welcomes various proposals for facilitating family reunification, but regrets that they are not incorporated into the bill. Family unity is a right and should be protected as such in the bill. In particular, spouses and children of recognized refugees in Canada should have the right to travel to Canada for processing here. Economic status (e.g. receipt of social assistance) should never be a bar to family reunification.
  • Inadmissibility and permanent residence
  • The bill expands the categories of inadmissibility, introducing some new categories that throw a very wide net (e.g. engaging in organized crime and misrepresentation). The CCR calls on the contrary for the current inadmissibility categories to be narrowed.

  • The current provisions for removing people on the basis of alleged security risk are unfair, both in terms of the broad definitions used and the lack of procedural protections for the individuals.

  • Bill C-11 continues to refer to "terrorism" without defining it and to "being a member of an organization" without requiring that the individual constitute a security risk.

  • Permanent residents accused of security issues lose access to the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC). The CCR calls for the definition to be narrowed, access to SIRC to be granted to permanent residents and others, and the inclusion of a right of appeal from a Federal Court decision on a security certificate. The provisions calling for mandatory detention of non-permanent residents should be deleted.

  • The CCR recommends that some kind of "returning resident's permit" be re-instated so that permanent residents going abroad can be assured in advance that their situation meets the requirements of the law and that they will not lose their status.
  • Interdiction