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Internal report slams deportation review process

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The Canadian Press
Wed. Mar. 18 2009

OTTAWA — A federal program to prevent people from being shipped home to torture has quietly mushroomed into an inefficient new layer of the refugee-screening process, says an internal federal report.

The Immigration Department evaluation says there is a definite need for the pre-removal risk assessment program, noting more than 800 people have successfully avoided deportation from Canada due to risk of persecution.

However, the program is not the tool of last resort it was meant to be, says the report obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

"In effect, it has shifted from being a `safety-net' to become an additional step in the refugee status determination process."

Under the pre-removal risk assessment process, failed refugee claimants and others ordered out of the country who allege fear of harm in their home countries can apply to remain in Canada.

Take Action Against Minister of Citizenship, Immigration & Multiculturalism Jason Kenney

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Action Alert1) MAKING PEOPLE ILLEGAL: In recent months, we've seen greater and greater targeting of immigrants without full documentation as Immigration Enforcement carries out raids, waits outside of shelters and impersonates lawyers. We know that live in caregivers are being exploited in bogus jobs and that the Economic Crisis is being used as an excuse to cut applicants from the family and refugee class.

Immigration Canada and Minister Kenney have stepped up both anti-immigrant policy decisions and rhetoric. The changes in immigration targets, the rising detention and deportation rates, the scapegoating of migrants based on language skills, and the threats to remove the pre-removal risk assessment process represent a real attack on migrants that must be spoken out against.

Economic crisis bears down on vulnerable immigrants

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Economic crisis bears down on vulnerable immigrants
Foreign-born workers act as shock absorbers when economy crashes
Mar 09, 2009 04:30 AM
Harald Bauder

In the fall, we read a lot about the plight of managers and
professionals in the financial sector caused by the financial crisis.
Recently, media coverage focused on the threat of losing thousands of
middle-class jobs in the automobile industry. In the months to come,
it will be immigrants and foreign workers who will be hit hardest by
the looming economic downturn.

After supplying the labour that supported a decade of economic
prosperity for Canada, foreign workers and immigrants are becoming the
latest victims of a declining Canadian economy.

Throughout Canadian history, immigrants have been the shock absorbers
of cyclical swings of the economy. Until the early 1990s, Canada's
immigration levels were synchronized with the business cycle,

Algonquin of Barriere Lake Supporters Block Queen Street

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Barriere Lake Supporters at Quebec Officesphoto credit: John BonnarTORONTO (Friday, 21 November 2008) - Some 40 supporters of the Barriere Lake Solidarity Committee in Toronto, blocked Queen Street West at noon today for nearly 30 minutes in an act of solidarity with the community of Barriere Lake in Quebec. During the blockade, leaflets were handed out explaining the current situation in the community. The action was held in front of the building that houses Quebec's representative office in Toronto, the "Bureau du Québec à Toronto."

After blocking the street for about 30 minutes, the supporters moved to deliver a letter to Paul-Arthur Huot, the head of the Quebec Office in Toronto. As Lawrence Angeconeb, a Barriere Lake Solidarity supporter explains: "We did this to raise awareness about the situation at Barriere Lake and to highlight how the people there are being repressed by the SQ. We are especially angered by the lack of response to the demands by the community that there be a government resolution to agreements already signed. We delivered a letter to the Quebec Office in Toronto in order to outline our disappointment with the way things have been handled. We want to keep pressure on the Quebec and Canadian governments to adhere to the agreements they've already signed."

Migrant workers reap bitter harvest in Ontario

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October 28, 2008
Evelyn Encalada Grez
The Toronto Star

I had to pick up Laura at the apple farm with two police officers. We left the farm in such haste that Laura's belongings were scattered in various plastic bags.

It was a rescue mission more reminiscent of a crime scene. She could not leave without lovingly saying goodbye to each of the women with whom she had shared that awful crammed bunkhouse.

When she was ready, she turned to me and said: "Let's go." We walked together, Laura on crutches and in much pain, tears flowing down her face, tears that quickly became contagious.

The tall, white, male police officers were shocked. They had no clue that migrant women lived and worked in their community, let alone what some had to go through to earn a living producing food that ended up on our kitchen tables. One of the officers said "apples are never going to taste the same again."

Pain Compliance as Indigenous Relations

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Inside the Barriere Lake Algonquins' blockade of highway 117

by Dru Oja Jay
The Dominion

I'm perched on an embankment overlooking Highway 117, an obscure but economically important link between Montreal and northern Quebec. To look at most maps, there's nothing here, five hours north of Montreal, well out of the cottage towns and ski resorts of the Laurentians and still two hours short of the cluster of resource extraction economies around Val d'Or (in English, Valley of Gold), where mining now focuses more on metals like copper, zinc and lead. I'm in the middle of a four hour stretch where most travellers could be forgiven for thinking was nothing but a few hunting lodges, logging roads and Hydro Quebec turnouts.

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