Commission on Justice and Peace Document Archives

Dear Ministers:

The Commission on Justice and Peace (CJP) of the Canadian Council of Churches expresses its concern that changes to the refugee determination system have been included in the Budget Implementation Bill (Bill C-97).

Of primary concern to the CJP is that all persons in Canada claiming refugee status experience a just, fair and respectful determination process in Canada. Members of the Canadian Council of Churches have been involved in sponsoring refugees and advocating for policies that respect their human rights for more than thirty years. Provisions being introduced through the budget implementation bill will have a significant impact on the ability of refugee claimants to gain access to a fair hearing before an independent tribunal. The bill introduces “a new ground of ineligibility for refugee protection if a claimant has previously made a claim for refugee protection in another country.” We are concerned, therefore, that this new ground raises questions of how rights will be respected and due process ensured.

We would like to reiterate our longstanding conviction that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to in-Canada refugee claimants and includes the requirement that they be treated in conformity with the principles of fundamental justice.

File Type: pdf
Categories: English, Refugees
Tags: Bill C-97, refugee determination system, refugee rights
Author: Chair of the Commission on Justice and Peace (Donna Geernaert SC)