Refugee Rights

Irregular vs. Illegal Language Matters

Irregular vs. Illegal – Why Language Matters

The ‘immigrant story’ has long been the basis on which Canadians unite to embrace multiculturalism. This narrative presents the idea that families from across the world seek out the True North with hopes of a better future for themselves and their children, a future that is contingent on reaching safety. Yet, the means through which...

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Gender-Based Analysis should prioritize marginalized voices

Since the 2015 election, the federal government has continually expressed their desire to commit to a feminist structure of governance. One of the tools they use to do so is GBA+ (Gender-based Analysis Plus), which aims to analyze how different people experience policies and programs based on gender diversity. The added factor to this is the “plus”...

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Canadian refugee plan falls short, advocates say

The Canadian government needs to speed the processing for refugee claimants and raise the number of government-sponsored refugees, say advocates. Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) and the Canadian Council for Refugees both argue the level of Government Assisted Refugees (GAR) is too low, and should match that of the Privately Sponsored Refugee program.

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Canada can support more refugees while filling skills gaps

On Oct. 31, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen tabled the 2018 Annual Report on Immigration in the House of Commons. Included in the report were sections on the importance of immigration to Canada and procedural highlights for the past year, along with the updated multi-year 2019-2021 Immigration Levels Plan. This plan outlines several immigration targets, including the number...

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Have Refugees Created a Housing Crisis in Canada?

An influx of refugee claimants from the U.S. has been making headlines for over a year now. Since the beginning of 2018, the RCMP has intercepted 12,378 irregular border crossers. These numbers, however, are actually down compared to the same period last year and are much lower than initial projections. So why have politicians drawn a connection between refugees and a housing...

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Social assistance requires more accountability and federal leadership

It’s clear that social assistance is in need of reform. Innovative policies and targeted funding can make a difference, but all levels of government need to commit to making it happen.

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Book Review: The Boat People

 From the Catalyst, Summer 2018 The Boat People  By Sharon Bala McClelland & Stewart, 2018 Reviewed by Deborah Mebude The Boat People is inspired by the untold stories of hundreds of Tamil refugees who arrived on British Columbia’s coast in 2009 and 2010. It depicts the tension between the slow pace of government protocols and the urgent needs...

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Stop Asking Refugees to Pay for Travel

Let’s Stop Asking Refugees to Pay for Travel

Most refugees arrive in Canada already indebted to the government by $3,000 to $10,000 for the costs incurred in bringing them to this land, including medical exams, travel documents, and plane tickets. They must begin repaying this loan within one year, when they have barely begun to regain their footing. Here’s our proposal: waive the loan repayment requirement...

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The Politics of the Safe Third Country Agreement

The Politics of the Safe Third Country Agreement

Political pressure is mounting as refugee claimants continue to face barriers to protection at the Canada-U.S. border. With our latest report, Reclaiming Protection, CPJ amplifies the call for an overhaul to the Safe Third Country Agreement. As the countdown has begun to the 2019 Federal election, it’s useful to take a deeper look at exactly what the major parties are...

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A Haitian man talks with an RCMP officer while waiting to cross the U.S.-Canada border into Quebec last August. (CNS photo - Christinne Muschi, Reuters)

Churches among advocates challenging agreement that sends refugees to U.S.

The Safe Third Country Agreement faces an important test this summer as political opponents keep an eye on the number of asylum seekers using irregular border crossings. Meanwhile, a federal court challenge of the Agreement as a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms mounted by the Canadian Council for Refugees, the Canadian...

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