ARCHIVED — Vol. 146, No. 26 — December 19, 2012

Registration

SI/2012-96 December 19, 2012

BALANCED REFUGEE REFORM ACT

Order Fixing December 15, 2012 as the Day on which Certain Sections of the Act Come into Force

P.C. 2012-1588 November 29, 2012

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of Justice, pursuant to subsection 42(1) of the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, chapter 8 of the Statutes of Canada, 2010, fixes December 15, 2012 as the day on which sections 1, 7, 10 to 12, 14.1, 17 to 23 and 26, subsection 27(2) and sections 29, 30, 33 to 35, 37 and 41 of that Act come into force.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Order.)

Proposal

This Order fixes December 15, 2012, as the day on which sections 1, 7, 10 to 12, 14.1, 17 to 23 and 26, subsection 27(2) and sections 29, 30, 33 to 35, 37 and 41 of the Balanced Refugee Reform Act (the Act), chapter 8 of the Statutes of Canada, 2010, come into force. Sections 3 to 6, 9, 13, 14, 28, 31, 32, 39 and 40 came into force on Royal Assent on June 29, 2010. Subsection 15(3) came into force on Royal Assent of the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act (PCISA) on June 28, 2012, and section 2, subsection 15(4), and section 36 came into force by Order in Council on August 15, 2012. Section 8 will not be brought into force as it was repealed by An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Chapter 8 of the Statutes of Canada, 2011). Sections 21 and 24 will not be brought into force as they were repealed by the PCISA. Section 38 of the Act will not be brought into force as it is inconsistent with subsection 68(2) of the PCISA. Subsections 15(1), (2), and (5), sections 16, 16.1 and 25, subsection 27(1), and sections 27.1 and 37.1 will be brought into force on a day or days to be fixed by the Governor in Council.

Objective

This Order brings into force a number of changes to Canada’s refugee determination system that support the underlying principles of Canada’s asylum system, which include ensuring fairness, protecting genuine refugees and upholding Canada’s humanitarian tradition. Changes to the Federal Courts Act take into consideration the impact of the new provisions on the Federal Court.

Background

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration committed to implementing Canada’s new refugee determination system by the end of 2012. Bringing the remaining provisions of the Act into force also fulfills the Government of Canada’s March 2010 and June 2011 Speech from the Throne commitments to reform the refugee system and strengthen Canada’s overall immigration system. The Act received Royal Assent on June 29, 2010, and was amended by the PCISA, which received Royal Assent on June 28, 2012.

The Act allows the Refugee Protection Division to state that a claim is manifestly unfounded.

The Act amends provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) that permit a claimant to appeal a decision of the Refugee Protection Division to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD), while also providing clarification with respect to the type of evidence that may be put before the Refugee Appeal Division and the circumstances in which that Division may hold a hearing. As a result of the PCISA amendments, certain individuals will not have access to the RAD, including claimants from designated countries of origin or those with manifestly unfounded claims.

The Act provides for regulations setting time limits for the hearing of claims, filing and perfecting of appeals to the RAD, and making decisions at the RAD.

In addition, as amended by the PCISA, failed refugee claimants will be unable to request humanitarian and compassionate consideration if less than 12 months have passed since their claim was rejected.

Finally, the Act also amends the Federal Courts Act to increase the number of Federal Court judges from 32 to 36.

Consultation

The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration conducted four weeks of hearings and heard from more than 80 witnesses, including representatives from over 50 organizations. Following these consultations with Canadians, refugee advocates and parliamentarians, the Government introduced amendments that addressed some stakeholder concerns.

Departmental contact

Andre Baril
Director
Asylum Policy and Programs
Refugee Affairs Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
365 Laurier Avenue W
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1L1
Email: Andre.Baril@cic.gc.ca