(name of Member of Parliament), Member of Parliament
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
Dear Mr/Ms (family name),
I am writing to you to ask for your support in seeing the rapid passage of Bill C-291, a private member’s bill which is currently before the House of Commons. The bill gives refugee claimants the right of appeal that Parliament endorsed when it passed the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Strong support and immediate actions from Members of Parliament are necessary to ensure the bill’s passage into law. Because the Refugee Appeal Division was created by Parliament and the last Parliament voted to force its implementation, the current Parliament should adopt Bill C-291, which is the text of the former Bill C-280, as amended by the Senate. Bill C-291 should be adopted immediately and without further debate.
There are many reasons to support rapid passage of Bill C-291:
- The bill is important. Providing refugee claimants with their right to appeal may save lives. Wrong decisions at the refugee hearing that go uncorrected can lead to refugees being returned to persecution, torture and even death. Contrary to much popular opinion, there is currently no appeal on the merits for refugee claimants – the limited recourses that are available are incapable of correcting many errors in refugee determination.
- The bill needs to be passed quickly. It is already more than six years since the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act came into effect without implementing the right of appeal for refugees foreseen by the Act. As a result, for six years refugee claimants have been having their fate determined by a single decision maker in a system never approved by Parliament. Correcting this injustice is long overdue.
- The bill was very close to becoming law. All that was left was for the House of Commons to vote on the amendments made by the Senate. It should therefore be a straightforward matter for the House and Senate to pass the same text without further debate and delays.
With these compelling reasons in mind, I urge you to press for rapid reintroduction and passage of Bill C-291, calling for the implementation of the Refugee Appeal Division as provided for the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.