Media Release
For Immediate Release

7 March 2007

Lives on hold: The faces behind humanitarian and compassionate applications

Montréal.  The Lives on Hold Coalition today released profiles of several nationals of moratorium countries who remain in Canada without permanent status.  As a result, children have been separated from their mother or father for over five years and the lives of people in Canada are on hold

The cases profiled are of people from moratorium countries, that is countries to which Canada does not deport because of the situation of generalized insecurity.  Over 6,000 people from these countries are in Canada without any imminent prospect of achieving permanent residence and family reunification.

The cases presented:

  • Marceline is a mother who has been separated from her son, now 14 years old, for more than five years.  The interest of the child, who is currently in the Congo, in being with his mother was not even considered when Marceline’s application for permanent residence was refused a few months ago.
  • After more than 11 years in Canada, an Iraqi family is still without permanent status.  In the decision refusing permanent residence to the parents, Citizenship and Immigration Canada considered it acceptable for the two Canadian children to be sent to Iraq.
  • Tshinyama, a Congolese man who has been in Canada for five years, is desperately seeking permanent residence so that he can escape from the unskilled jobs to which people without permanent status are condemned.  But his application for permanent residence was refused precisely because he only has an unskilled job!
  • Jean-Claude has also been in Canada for five years.  His application for permanent residence was refused on the grounds that he had not shown that he would face a risk if returned to Congo. Yet, Canada has recognized that there is a situation of generalized risk in the country.  The best interests of Jean-Claude’s two children, aged 18 and 7 and still in the Congo, are never analyzed.
  • Tina has been separated from her son, whom she was forced to leave behind in Zimbabwe, for more than five years.  Now aged 7, her son can’t understand why his mother doesn’t come to fetch him. Tina is waiting for a response to her application for permanent residence on humanitarian grounds.  According to information provided by the government, she can expect the process to take up to 55 months.

These cases highlight the need for a comprehensive solution, which is more urgent than ever. The Coalition calls on the government to create a regulatory class that provides permanent residence to all persons from countries to which Canada does not remove who have been in Canada for three or more years.  

Contact: Colleen French, CCR Communications Coordinator, (514) 277-7223 ext. 1 or (514) 835-2046 (cell)

Further information:
The profiles
Other information about the Lives on Hold campaign: