New Report Puts Forward Plan to Reform Canada's Refugee System

    Maytree releases Peter Showler's proposal "Fast, Fair and Final:
    Reforming Canada's Refugee System"

    TORONTO, Sept. 10 /CNW/ - Changes are needed to ensure that Canada meets
its international obligations to protect refugees and to maintain confidence
in the system states the report "Fast, Fair and Final: Reforming Canada's
Refugee System" by Peter Showler, released today by Maytree. It details how
Canada's current inland refugee system can take up to eight years to finalize
a claim, leaving thousands of claimants in limbo and attracting frivolous
    "Reform is needed, but not the kind of reform the government is
planning," explains Peter Showler, Director of the Refugee Forum at the
University of Ottawa and former Chairperson of the Immigration and Refugee
Board (IRB). "Making refugee decisions is an incredibly difficult task. To
meet this challenge, a reformed system needs to be based on the following
three pillars: A good first decision; a reliable appeal; and the prompt
removal of failed claimants."
    In particular, the report recommends the creation of a new Refugee
Tribunal with two divisions, a Refugee Claim Division and a Refugee Appeal
Division, to replace the IRB. The tribunal members would be appointed solely
on merit. The Refugee Claim Division would employ informal procedures to allow
refugees to tell their story, and each claimant would be represented by a
lawyer. By creating a strong system, the Pre-Removal Risk Assessments,
"back-end" Humanitarian and Compassionate applications (H&C) and their
associated judicial reviews could be removed from the system.
    Under the proposal, refugee claims would be decided in six months,
reviewed in four months and removed within three months of a negative appeal
decision. The new refugee system would produce accurate and fair decisions,
and result in the timely removal of failed claimants.

    To download the proposal, visit

    About Maytree: Established in 1982, Maytree is a private foundation that
promotes equity and prosperity through its policy insights, grants and
programs. The foundation has gained international recognition for its
expertise in developing, testing and implementing programs and policy
solutions related to immigration, integration and diversity.

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Markus Stadelmann-Elder, (416)
944-2627 ext. 284,

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