Canadians should have control over their own laws. They should be drafted by and for Canadians. This should not be a difficult or controversial topic.
However, one organization, the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR), is attempting to lobby Canada’s politicians to create more “refugee” friendly laws. This has been going on for over a decade, and seems to have been a long term effort.
Yes, the CCR is one of the groups trying to strike down the Canada/US Safe Third Country Agreement in the Toronto Federal Court. However, this article will focus more on the political efforts that CCR has undertaken. Indeed, CCR has been busy trying change our laws.
3. CCR Lobbying The Federal Government
Here is an alphabetical list of those who have been lobbied by the Canadian Council for Refugees since 2008.
Gary Anandasangaree, Member of Parliament | House of Commons
Sacha Atherly, Policy Advisor | Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Matthieu Bélanger, Chief of Staff | Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction | Public Safety Canada (PS)
Jacques Cloutier, Vice-President | Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
Claudette Deschênes, Assistant Deputy Minister | Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Dawn Edlund, Associate Assistant Deputy Minister | Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Steve Foster, Senior Policy Advisor (specializing in social justice issues) | House of Commons
Ralph Goodale, Minister | Public Safety Canada (PS)
Sadia Groguhé, MP, Deputy Critic Immigration, Citizenship, and Multiculturalism | House of Commons
Alyx Holland, Office of the Minister of Public Safety Canada | Public Safety Canada (PS)
David Hurl, Director of Policy and Parliamentary Affairs | Public Safety Canada (PS)
Ahmed Hussen, Minister | Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism | Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Jenny Kwan, Member of Parliament | House of Commons
Les Linklater, Assistant Deputy Minister | Citizenship and Immigration Canada
David Manicom, Assistant Deputy Minister | Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament | House of Commons
John McCallum, Minister | Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Marta Morgan, Deputy Minister | Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Kyle Nicholson, Director of Policy | Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Kim Pate, Senator | Senate of Canada
Olga Radchenko, Director of Parliamentary Affairs | Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Murray Rankin, Member of Parliament | House of Commons
Ali Salam, Chief of Staff | Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Oline Twiss, Policy and Stakeholders Relations Officer | House of Commons
Richard Wex, Associate Deputy Minister | Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Now, let’s take a look at some specific proposals that CCR is advocating for. Sections 4-10 cover the most important ones. But those are by no means all of them.
4. CCR Challenges Canada/US S3CA
US-Canada safe third country agreement – oppose denial of access to refugee determination in Canada on the basis of the Safe Third Country Agreement
The Canadian Council for Refugees is one of the groups aiding a challenge in Toronto to strike down the Canada/US Safe Third Country Agreement. If this were to be successful, it would mean that (even at official border ports), so called “refugees” from the US could simply stroll in and be legally entitled to a hearing.
5. CCR Opposes DNA Testing
Interestingly, they also oppose DNA testing. (see the last section for the screenshot). Now why would any responsible organization be doing this? Wouldn’t they want to ensure that children are being reunited with their true, biological relatives?
Washington (CNN)The Department of Homeland Security will start a DNA testing pilot program next week to help identify and prosecute individuals posing as families in an effort to target human smuggling, two department officials confirmed to CNN.
The Rapid DNA testing, as it’s known, involves a cheek swab and can, on average, provide results in about 90 minutes, a senior Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said.
The pilot program will run for two to three days in two border locations.
It’s the latest move by the Trump administration to address the swell of migrants, predominantly families and children from Central American countries, at the border using a wide variety of technology and increased resources to fight illegal immigration.
That was an American article, but it also raises an interesting question here. If there is a risk of child smuggling or child trafficking, why WOULDN’T the Canadian Council for Refugees want to ensure that true families are being reunited? Do they want to aid and abet smuggling and trafficking?
6. CCR Against Custody Req’t For Illegals
Immigration detention policies – advocating for the end to the immigration detention of children and families and for reduction in immigration detention, including through the introduction of fair and effective alternatives to detention.
Why should people in the country illegally, or accused of other crimes while not a citizen be locked up for any reason? Perhaps self deportation would be in everyone’s best interests….
Removals of permanent residents on the basis of criminal inadmissibility, particularly in the wake of amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act made in 2013. CCR’s concern relates to lack of due consideration of humanitarian and compassionate factors in making removals, particularly of long-term residents.
8. CCR Challenges Deportations To Certain Countries
Removals to situations of risk – calling for suspension of removals to countries of generalized risk and policies ensuring individuals at risk have removal deferred.
9. CCR Promotes Amnesty For Illegals
Regularization of persons without status – promoting measures to allow persons in Canada without status to obtain permanent residence, including advocating for regularization of “legacy” claimants, ie. those who made a refugee claim before 15 December 2012.
This is exactly what it sounds like. The Canadian Council for Refugees is lobbying for amnesty-for-illegals, which will create a path to permanent residence, and presumably citizenship at some point.
10. CCR Wants Canadians To Foot The Bill
Availability of legal aid to refugee claimants and other vulnerable migrants, including the role of the federal government in providing adequate funding to provinces to cover the costs of legal aid.
It wouldn’t really be complete without ensuring that Canadians were on the hook paying for these people’s legal costs, now would it?
11. Some Government Funding CCR Gets
City of Montreal
City of Victoria
Government of Quebec
Federal Government (IRCC)
While CCR undoubtedly has some private donors, it is a recipient of Government aid. Or to be more precise, it receives taxpayer aid.
12. Info From Canada Revenue Tax Filings
Receipted donations $94,255.00 (22.94%)
Non-receipted donations $17,110.00 (4.16%)
Gifts from other registered charities $117,291.00 (28.55%)
Government funding $5,000.00 (1.22%)
All other revenue $177,168.00 (43.13%)
Total revenue: $410,824.00
Receipted donations $80,885.00 (9.85%)
Non-receipted donations $221,686.00 (27.01%)
Gifts from other registered charities $208,696.00 (25.42%)
Government funding $38,086.00 (4.64%)
All other revenue $271,506.00 (33.08%)
Total revenue: $820,859.00
Receipted donations $85,242.00 (12.44%)
Non-receipted donations $47,860.00 (6.99%)
Gifts from other registered charities $103,198.00 (15.06%)
Government funding $142,513.00 (20.80%)
All other revenue $306,250.00 (44.70%)
Total revenue: $685,063.00
Receipted donations $93,961.00 (12.99%)
Non-receipted donations $49,488.00 (6.84%)
Gifts from other registered charities $119,054.00 (16.45%)
Government funding $109,905.00 (15.19%)
All other revenue $351,132.00 (48.53%)
Total revenue: $723,540.00
Now, the trio (Amnesty International, Canadian Council for Refugees, and Canadian Council of Churches) are at it again. They’ve taken up the cases of “refugees” from the US who want this law struck down.
15. CCR Supported Bill C-6 (Citizenship for Terrorists)
CCR calls for further amendments to Citizenship Act to reduce barriers and make all citizens equal
The Canadian Council for Refugees published today its submission on Bill C-6, welcoming the introduction of amendments to the Citizenship Act and calling for further changes to provide equal access to citizenship and fair process.
“We need to bring down barriers to citizenship, especially for already disadvantaged groups such as refugees, the elderly, and women,” said Loly Rico, CCR President. “In line with Canada’s international obligations, we encourage the government to craft a new citizenship regime to which all applicants will have equal access without discrimination.”
Bill C-6 mostly reverses changes made under the previous Bill C-24, which took effect in 2015. The CCR welcomes the changes that will give refugees and other newcomers earlier access to citizenship, which will lead to better integration.
Bill C-6 also rightly re-affirms the equality of all citizens by eliminating provisions allowing for dual citizens to lose their citizenship in cases of “treason” or “terrorism” and requiring applicants for citizen to have an “intent to reside in Canada”.
While Bill C-6 contains many good measures to strengthen citizenship, other changes are also needed to remove barriers and end second class citizenship. The CCR is calling on Parliament to amend the bill to:
Create a right to apply for citizenship for youth under 18 who do not have a parent or legal guardian in Canada.
Create a system to exempt people from citizenship fees if they can’t afford them.
Provide better accommodation for applicants with disabilities.
Prevent long wait times by requiring the government to process applications within a reasonable time.
Stop the use of citizenship applications to launch a process to strip status from former refugees (through cessation).
Provide better procedural rights for loss of citizenship based on fraud or misrepresentation.
Restore Canadian citizenship to second generation born abroad to Canadian citizens. In the alternative, at least give citizenship for those who would be otherwise be stateless.
Yes, the CCR supported Trudeau’s Bill C-6, which would have stripped Canadian citizenship away from dual citizens convicted of terrorism or treason. Way tp pick a winning issue.
16. CCR Is A Political Organization
Despite the presumption that charities or NGOs simply act for a god cause that they represent, this is not really the case here. The Canadian Council for Refugees has a political branch to it, which is trying to change Canadian laws. Let’s summarize a few:
Trying to strike down Canada/US Safe 3rd Country Agreement
Opposing DNA testing for refugees
Removing immigration detention
Permanent residence for criminal inadmissibles
No deportation to various countries
Amnesty/PR for illegals
Taxpayer funded court services
Citizenship for terrorists
Those are just a few of the things that CCR lobbies for. It is a political organization deliberately lobbying to weaken our borders even more. It’s time to call a spade a spade.