Last updated on October 23rd, 2020
Jennifer Bond joins Peter Edelmann and Steven Meurrens to discuss refugee resettlement and ensuring that legislation is Charter compliant.
Jennifer Bond is a professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, and is also a Special Advisor to Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship. Jennifer sat on the founding national executive of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers and is founder and current co-director of the University of Ottawa’s Refugee Assistance Project, a multi-year, national initiative aimed at mitigating and researching the access to justice implications of Canada’s new refugee legislation. She is also the Faculty Coordinator of the University of Ottawa’s Refugee Hub, supervisor of the Refugee Law Research Team, and a member of the Public Law Group.
00:26 – 21:31- We discuss international refugee resettlement law. Specific topics include whether countries are obligated to resettle refugees, Canada’s commitment to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees, and the role private sponsorship programs in the global refugee resettlement effort. Jennifer also explained the security screening that Canada undertakes when it resettles refugees, and how this security process compares to Canada’s other immigration streams. Finally, we asked Jennifer for her take on what we discussed last week, which is whether in the wake of the BREXIT vote and the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, the aslyum crisis in Europe, the potential rise of protectionism and isolationism in the United States with the election of Donald Trump, and now the recently failed coup in Turkey, Canada can continue to buck global trends and remain a nation that loudly and publicly announces its intentions to continue to welcome a record number of immigrants and refugees.
21:31 – 35:50 –Read more ›
In June 2014, the Government of Canada announced that Canadians could now participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (“APEC“) Business Travel Card (“ABTC“) program. I applied for and quickly obtained one. Indeed, when I went for my interview I was told by the United States Customs and Border Patrol officer that I was one of the first people to be interviewed. From what I can tell it appears that very few Canadians have applied for the ABTC.
Indeed, when I mention the very existence of the ABTC most people appear unaware that it even exists. This is unfortunate. If you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and you’ve ever sat in frustration at the Chinese Consulate in Vancouver waiting for your visa that will only be valid for a few months, or stood in line gaping at the size of the crowds at the ShenZhen-Hong Kong border crossing, then the ABTC is for you.Read more ›
As I have previously written about in this blog, there are numerous benefits to being a member in the NEXUS program. Membership in NEXUS enables people to save time through the use of automatic self-serve kiosks at airports, designated lanes at the land border, and expedited security procedures at airports. Indeed, on November 13, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority started a pilot project featuring a new, expedited screening line for NEXUS members at the security screening checkpoint for flights to the U.S. in Terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson International Airport. NEXUS members who participate in this pilot are permitted to keep shoes, belts and light jackets on and leave laptops, large electronics, and compliant liquids, aerosols and gels in carry-on bags.
For many people, one of the frustrating things about the NEXUS program is that the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA“) website is very vague as to what may cause Canada to refuse someone’s NEXUS application. It states:
Canada’s Presentation of Persons (2003) Regulations, SOR/2003-323 (the “PoP Regulations“) are also not clear as to what may disqualify someone from being able to enrol in NEXUS. The Regulations state:
6. The Minister may issue an authorization to a person to present themself in an alternative manner described in paragraph 11(a), (b), (c) or (e) if the person:
(i) a permanent resident, within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, or a Canadian citizen, or
(ii) a citizen or permanent resident of the United States;Read more ›
Anyone who travels frequently understands the benefits of NEXUS membership. I have been a member since August 2012 and it is only a slight exaggeration to say that I remember a life before NEXUS.
At airports, NEXUS members avoid long line-ups and save time using automated self-serve kiosks at eight designated Canadian international airports. The wait-times are much less than they are for non-NEXUS passengers. As well, NEXUS members are expedited through Canadian Air Transport Security Authority airport security screening lanes. This is the case even on domestic flights.
Those crossing the US-Canada border by land enjoy a quick and simplified entry process using dedicated lanes. Wait-times are generally a fraction of what they are for non-NEXUS members. It is not uncommon for the NEXUS lane(s) to be empty while the non-NEXUS lanes have wait-times exceeding one hour.
If you’ve never heard of NEXUS, you should read more about it on the CBSA website here.
Considering all the benefits which membership in NEXUS provides, it is understandable why people whose NEXUS membership applications are rejected often seek recourse, as do people who lose their NEXUS.
First Level Recourse Statistics
In 2011-12 (excluding Q4), there were 614 First Level Recourse appeals of NEXUS membership rejections. The cases were broken down as follows:
- Customs – 253
- Criminal – 158
- Immigration – 85
- Program Violations – 27
- Other – 91
Of the 614 cases, 118 were overturned. This 19% success rate represented a slight decline from the 2011 success rate of 22%.
Second Level Recourse Statistics
In 2011-12 (excluding Q4), there were 44 Second Level Recourse appeals of NEXUS membership rejections.Read more ›