Refugee Rights

CPJ works to educate the public — especially churches — on the ever-changing landscape of refugee legislation in Canada. Through research, policy monitoring, and publishing, we bring attention to the impact of legislative change on refugees and claimants, and on the groups who sponsor and support them to come to Canada.


Protecting the Vulnerable

Brief to the Citizenship and Immigration Committee on Bill C-43

Submission to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration 

November 2014

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“Protecting the Vulnerable” outlines the severe impact of these changes on persons with non-permanent status in Canada. It also presents findings from CPJ’s latest report on refugees, “Private Sponsorship and Public Policy” and demonstrates the impact that such cuts will have on refugee-sponsoring churches and organizations

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Letter: Budget Bill Restricts Social Assistance for Refugees

November 2014
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160 organizations from across Canada have come together to oppose parts of federal Bill C-43. An open letter was sent to Finance Minister Joe Oliver calling for the withdrawal of sections 172 and 173 in this Bill.

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Sunset behind a refugee boat on Lake Tanganyika

Welcoming the Stranger

Imagine that you suddenly hear a massive explosion. Close enough that you can see buildings collapsing and dust filling the air. You can hear the screams of those nearer to the epicentre. This is followed by another explosion, and another, each one closer than the last. Now imagine that this is a daily occurrence. You live…

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Letter: Speed up Private Sponsorship for Syrian refugees

October 2014

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CPJ’s Board Chair, Will Postma, and Executive Director, Joe Gunn, respond to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. In this second letter, we again request Canada step up and commit to resettle 10,000 Syria refugees.

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Refugee Camp

Churches Fear Future of Refugee Sponsorship

From The Catalyst Winter 2014 The government has been in hot water lately over its refugee policies. First for the underwhelming response to refugees fleeing Syria, and then for the refugee health care cuts which were deemed “cruel and unusual” by the Federal Court. Everyone from doctors to lawyers to frontline refugee service providers have spoken out….

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Refugee Workshop for Churches

The Christian Reformed Church has created a toolkit of resources for churches and other groups to learn about the experiences of refugees in Canada today and respond.

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Syrian Refugees

“Private Sponsorship and Public Policy”

September 2014
“Private Sponsorship and Public Policy” is a survey of church connected sponsorship agreements holders, those two assist refugees in their resettlement. It outlines their top concerns with government policy including wait times, health cuts, and consultation. 

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refugee rules

Canadian government tightens rules on refugee children

As of August 1, 2014, new regulations mean that many refugees will have to decide whether safety in Canada is worth leaving their 19-year-old son or daughter behind in a potentially life-threatening situation. (This article was first published in the Toronto Star.)

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Why the govenrnment’s refugee health appeal is wrong

Refugees and their advocates joined an interesting mix of doctors, provincial politicians, and lawyers this month to cheer a 268-page decision from Justice Anne Mactavish. The Federal Court ruled that the June 2012 refugee healthcare cuts went against Section 12 of the Charter and constituted “cruel and unusual” treatment for claimants and their children.

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Letter: Canada should resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees

June 2014

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A day ahead of World Refugee Day 2014, CPJ wrote to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander calling on the federal government to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees.

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