Immigration and Refugee Board's Response to CBC's Reporting on IRB acceptance

OTTAWA, Dec. 21 /CNW Telbec/ -

This week, CBC Radio and Television aired segments on the issue of variance of acceptance rates of claims before the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). It is troubling that the CBC reporter- David McKie has drawn conclusions on our members' performance based solely on their individual acceptance rate statistics.

He has chosen not to consult with the IRB prior to producing these segments and consequently, has provided a simplistic analysis. The situation is more complex than has been reported. For example, some members are assigned to teams which handle expedited processes for claimants from countries which have traditionally had high acceptance rates. It stands to reason that those members would also have disproportionately high acceptance rates.

It is important to note that our members are not only specialized geographically by region, but also in many cases by country. Of course, member specialization will have an impact on individual acceptance rates. I wish to stress that, irrespective of the country of origin, each case is decided by an independent decision maker on its own merits and in accordance with the evidence presented in the hearing room.

While I have a great deal of respect for Peter Showler, former Chairperson of the IRB who was quoted in your piece, he has not been associated with the Board since 2002 and may not be aware of how cases are currently assigned to members across the Board.

As IRB Chairperson, I have every confidence in the professionalism and integrity of our decision makers. Members are appointed only after they have successfully completed a rigorous, merit-based selection process, in which they are assessed against a range of key competencies. They receive extensive training when they are first appointed to the IRB and professional development continues throughout their tenure and I categorically reject any suggestion that our members are incompetent or biased.

    Brian P. Goodman
    Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

SOURCE Immigration and Refugee Board

For further information: For further information: Charles Hawkins, Senior Communications Advisor, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, (416) 973-4780,

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