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Refugee Rights News

Want to know what CPJ staff have been saying on refugee rights

Keep up-to-date with the latest news and views from CPJ on refugee rights.

The Auditor-General weighs in on Canada’s immigration

Last week Auditor-General Sheila Fraser tabled her fall report in Parliament, part of which critically evaluated Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) Program. Fraser criticized the management of the program, and specifically the federal government’s failure to ensure the safety of workers or to monitor the status and location of workers. These criticisms generated responses from very different points of view.

One point of view included concerns for improving the well-being of people entering Canada through the TFW program, while another called for the overhaul of the system with a refocus on highly skilled workers within immigration policy.

Language as a bridge to the integration of newcomers

Last week I attended an all-day seminar on the integration of newcomers and the issue of language skills within immigration policies. The seminar was hosted by Metropolis Canada, a network for policy research on topics relating to immigration, diversity and citizenship, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Panellists and other participants included public servants, academics and practitioners.

Ride for Refugees: We made it!

Last Saturday several thousand Canadians across the country got out on their bikes in the Ride for Refugees to raise money and build awareness about the struggles of refugees, both within Canada and abroad.

Across Canada, over $500,000 was raised and donations are still coming in!

Ride for Refugees: Gear up your bikes for October 3rd

On October 3, 2009, over a dozen cities across Canada are gearing-up (pun intended) for the 6th Annual Ride for Refugees through International Teams Canada. The Ride is a cycling event for everyone (no racing experience necessary!) and aims to raise awareness and support for refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), both abroad and in Canada.

Millions of people around the world are forced to live away from their homes, often in very poor conditions, due to war, violence, political oppression, and discrimination. International Teams Canada estimates that there are almost 70 million refugees and IDPs around the world.

Highlights from the Forum

It’s a bit hard for me to believe that the Canadian Social Forum began exactly a week ago today. I’ve now been back in the office for almost two days, and I feel like I’ve only begun to process all that I saw, heard and experienced in Calgary.

Rethinking Poverty 2 Community Forum: Immigrant Perspectives

“If we are to truly rethink poverty, we must acknowledge that poverty and race go hand in hand.”

This statement was spoken this morning by Uzma Shakir, the keynote speaker at the Rethinking Poverty 2 Community Forum. Held at Ottawa’s City Hall, the Forum brought together recent newcomers and providers of immigrant support services to dialogue on immigrant perspectives of poverty.

Language Requirements Counter to Public Justice Values

Two weeks ago, Minister for Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney stated that he believed immigrants should be required to speak English or French before being accepted into Canada, arguing that this would encourage newcomers to integrate more into Canadian society. His statement has since sparked a heated debate about immigration policy in Canada. How do we integrate newcomers into Canada? Is a language requirement fair and necessary for integration?

Supreme Court refuses to hear Safe Third Country case

On February 5, a three-judge panel of the Supreme Court of Canada rejected an appeal application that sought to have the Safe Third Country Agreement deemed unconstitutional. The appeal came from the Canadian Council for Refugees, the Canadian Council of Churches and Amnesty International, who were appealing a Federal Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold the STCA.

Immigration criteria falls short

While we’re finishing up our response to the Fiscal and Economic Statement yesterday, and wondering who our government will be next week, an announcement was made with little fanfare of the new immigration criteria.

New legislation was adopted this spring that allows the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to prioritize certain immigrants for entry into Canada. The move was a departure from the previous system, where selection criteria were set by regulation and every visa application had to be reviewed by immigration officers.

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