Last Updated on May 31, 2019 by Steven Meurrens
Administrative deferrals of removal (“ADR“) are temporary measures when the Government of Canada determines that immediate action is needed to temporarily defer removals of foreign nationals to countries experiencing humanitarian crisis. Once the situation in a country stabilizes the ADR is lifted and removals resume.
Those who are inadmissible to Canada on grounds of criminality, international or human rights violations, organized crime, or security can still be removed despite the ADR.
An ADR is currently in place for certain regions in Somalia (Middle Shabelle, Afgoye, and Mogadishu), the Gaza Strip, Syria, Mali, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Burundi, Venezuela and Haiti.
Pursuant to the Federal Court of Canada decision in Bawazir v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2019 FC 623, the existence of an ADR should not negate the hardship analysis that officers conduct in humanitarian & compassionate applications. As Justice Norris noted:
One can certainly understand why Mr. Bawazir would like to secure his status in Canada by obtaining permanent residence here. In my view, a reasonable and fair-minded person would judge the requirement that he leave Canada and go to a war zone where a dire humanitarian crisis prevails so that he could apply for permanent residence as a misfortune potentially deserving of amelioration. The existence of the ADR demonstrates that Canada views the conditions in Yemen as a result of the civil war to “pose a generalized risk to the entire civilian population.” The conditions are so dire there that, with a few exceptions, Canada will not remove nationals to that country. Applying the usual requirements of the law in such circumstances clearly engages the equitable underlying purpose of section 25(1) of the IRPA (cf. Lauture v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2015 FC 336 at para 43) yet the officer finds that the conditions prevailing in Yemen and the “extreme hardship” Mr. Bawazir would face there deserve “little weight” in the analysis. This was because Mr. Bawazir is not facing the threat of imminent, involuntary removal. However, the officer did not consider that Mr. Bawazir has no choice but to leave Canada for Yemen if he wishes to apply for permanent residence unless an exception is made for him. The officer erred in effectively dismissing a factor which is clearly relevant to the equitable underlying purpose of section 25(1) of the IRPA.