Billions of dollars invested,
not a penny lost.
CRISTIN SCHMITZ OTTAWA
The Harper government’s
ambitious plan to overhaul Canada’s backlogged refugee system
risks sacrificing fairness on the
altar of efficiency unless key
changes are made, refugee lawyers warn.
Bill C- 11, tabled in the Commons March 30 by Immigration
Minister Jason Kenney, won
instant praise from the Bar for its
goal of accelerating the delay-plagued refugee determination
process, while also giving failed
refugee claimants a new right of
appeal on the merits to a proposed Refugee Appeal Division
(RAD) of the Immigration and
Refugee Board (IRB) (see p. 18 for
highlights of Bill C- 11).
Currently it takes 19 months,
on average, to get to an IRB hearing. The government proposes to
wipe out the board’s 61,000-claim
backlog, and to reduce to a maximum of 68 days the time period
between when the claim is first
deemed eligible by immigration
or border officials and when it is
heard by an IRB official.
However, refugee advocates
warn that the bill’s tight timelines will make it difficult, if not
impossible, for refugee claimants
INUIT LAND CLAIMS
Governments feel their
sting even when they fail
How climate change
University of Ottawa law professor Peter Showler argues Bill C- 11 must be amended if it is to achieve its aim of a “faster
intersects with land
and fairer” refugee determination system.
CRISTIN SCHMITZ / THE LAWYERS WEEKLY
and their lawyers to properly
prepare their cases. Many coun-
sel also object to the govern-
ment’s proposals to deny RAD
appeals to failed refugee appli-
cants from a yet-to-be announced
new list of “safe countries,” and
to restrict refugee claimants
from seeking protection on alter-
nate humanitarian and compas-
Why are there such
low take-up rates
for class action
settlements and what
can be done about it?
LATERAL MOVES Allegations send judicial shockwaves throughout Quebec
LUIS MILLAN MONTREAL
Rocked by explosive allegations made by a former Quebec
justice minister that triggered a
public inquiry and a $700,000
libel lawsuit by Premier Jean
Charest, Quebec’s legal community is debating accusations that
provincial Liberal party fundraisers tainted the judicial appointment process six years ago.
Left reeling after former Lib-
eral justice minister Marc Belle-
mare lodge a formal complaint
with Quebec’s provincial police
force, Charest launched a lawsuit
against Bellemare for “false,
malicious and defamatory
remarks,” and appointed retired
Supreme Court of Canada judge
Michel Bastarache to preside
over a commission of inquiry
into Bellemare’s allegations.
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