Legislated Injustice: Charter Rights And Canada’s “Identifiable” Communities

1988– Canadian Multiculturalism Act-   The Constitution Act, signed by Queen Elizabeth II on April 17, 1982, above, gave Canada the sole power to amend its Constitution. Canadian Prime Minister Pierre E. Trudeau looked on. (World Book 122f)

Legislated Injustice: Charter Rights And Canada’s “Identifiable” Communities

writer: Brad Salzberg, April 2016

http://capforcanada.com

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, our nation’s defining civil rights legislation, was formally entrenched within the Canadian constitution in the year of 1982.

Created by former Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the introduction of the Charter would establish individual rights and freedoms as the essence of what it means to be a Canadian. Regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, the Charter informed our citizenship that personal freedom and dignity are to be considered Canada’s most cherished values.

On a broader scale, these rights were intended to apply to all “identifiable” communities within our nation.  Yet, despite a thirty-five year government and media campaign to convince Canadians otherwise, true social equality based upon Charter rights is a fallacy.

CIR Interviews: American Renaissance Conference- 2012

Syrian migrants with disabilities have trouble finding appropriate housing

Some Syrian refugees fed up after months in temporary housing

Settlement agency says it’s working ‘flat out’ to find housing, but refugees refusing offers

By Catherine Rolfsen, CBC News Posted: Apr 21, 2016 10:35 AM PT Last Updated: Apr 21, 2016 2:37 PM PT

Fayzeh Ramadan and her 15-year-old son Mohamed Alsedawe in the doorway of their East Vancouver motel. Mohamed hasn't been able to start school because the family doesn't have a permanent home.

Two of the Alsidawe daughters are disabled. A nerve problem called neurogenic atrophy means they have little to no movement in their lower bodies.

Fayzeh Ramadan and her 15-year-old son Mohamed Alsedawe in the doorway of their East Vancouver motel. Mohamed hasn’t been able to start school because the family doesn’t have a permanent home. (Catherine Rolfsen)

Some Syrian refugees living in limbo months after arriving in Canada say they feel frustrated, and ignored by settlement workers.

“When we came at first, we have a hope … but now we lost the hope,” said Hatem Alsidawe, through an interpreter.

Alsidawe, 19, has been living with his family — four siblings aged 15 to 26 and his mother, a widow — in a motel unit in East Vancouver since early February. 

Vancouver needs more permanent houses for Syrian migrants

Vancouver behind in housing Syrian refugees

SURREY, BC: March 9, 2016 -- Mohamad El Refaie, left holds his blind daughter Heba, 7 as his wife mother Shamia El Refaie, right holds their other daughter Lema, 4 a hotel in Surrey, B.C. Wednesday March 9, 2016. The family fled Syria as refugees. (photo by Ric Ernst / PNG) (Story by Tara Carman) TRAX #: 00042133A [PNG Merlin Archive]

The El Refaie family has moved from temporary housing in a Surrey hotel to a permanent home. RIC ERNST / VANCOUVER SUN

High housing prices have meant Syrian refugees in Metro Vancouver have had a harder time finding permanent housing than those who were settled elsewhere in Canada, with some waiting close to four months.

Nationally, more than 90 per cent of government-assisted Syrian refugees have found permanent housing, and in some cities, such as Ottawa, all have been housed.

In Metro Vancouver, there are 29 Syrian families still in temporary housing, said Chris Friesen, settlement services director with the Immigrant Services Society of B.C. Three of those families arrived in late December, and one has been shuffled between three temporary housing sites over that time period.

The Immigrant Services Society has found homes for 13 of the remaining families, including two of the three who have been here since December. They will be moving in the next 10 days, Friesen said, leaving 16 families still to house.

The cost of housing coupled with large family sizes — often in excess of six people — has made housing refugee families more of a challenge in Vancouver and Toronto than in other parts of the country, especially Alberta, where an economic downturn has depressed housing prices, Friesen said.

Victoria faces a similar challenge, with about 25 Syrian families in that city in need of permanent housing. Some of the refugees who initially arrived in Victoria have gone farther afield, to the Duncan area, in search of affordable housing.

In the past month, three of the Syrian families who came first to Vancouver were relocated to Vernon, Penticton and Summerland.

Canada’s immigration system vulnerable to fraud, says lawyer

Canada’s immigration system vulnerable to fraud, says lawyer

‘It’s not a perfect system by any stretch’

CBC News Posted: Apr 27, 2016 9:17 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 27, 2016 9:17 AM ET

Windsor immigration lawyer Eddie Kadri says an alleged case of misinformation on a passport shows there are cracks in Canada's immigration system.

Windsor immigration lawyer Eddie Kadri says an alleged case of misinformation on a passport shows there are cracks in Canada’s immigration system. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

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A Windsor, Ont. immigration lawyer says an alleged case of passport fraud in Windsor may be only one of many cases to slip through the cracks in Canada’s immigration system.

“We have a good system [but] it’s not a perfect system by any stretch,” Eddie Kadri told CBC Radio’s Windsor Morning. “Professionals like myself are advocating to change and close these cracks where people slip through, because it happens all the time.”

Police searching for two suspects in Toronto ‘gang war’ kidnapping

Police searching for two suspects in Toronto ‘gang war’ kidnapping

Three men and one teen have been charged in connection with the abduction and beating of two 17-year-old gang members

Toronto police say two teenage gang members were kidnapped and tortured in retaliation for a condo shootout.

Police are searching for Lincoln Anthony Richards, 23 and Thai-Shay Gordon, 17, wanted in connection with an Apr. 19 kidnapping and beating.

TORONTO POLICE SERVICE HANDOUT Police are searching for Lincoln Anthony Richards, 23 and Thai-Shay Gordon, 17, wanted in connection with an Apr. 19 kidnapping and beating.

Now three young men have been charged and two more are wanted.

Investigators say that, in the early hours of April 19, members of the Young Buck Killers gang were partying in an Airbnb-rented condo on the 25th floor of a building near Front St. and Blue Jays Way.

The revellers heard that members of a rival gang, the Queens Drive Crips, were going to show up uninvited.

Four Young Bucks went downstairs to look for the gatecrashers.

When they came back upstairs, the Queen Drive Crips were waiting for them in the hallway.

Security footage shows the gang members opening fire as the elevator doors open. Police do not believe anyone was seriously injured in the shootout.

Later on April 19, two 17-year-olds involved with the Queens Drive Crips were kidnapped when they arrived at a Swansea Mews townhouse complex that police say is associated with the Young Buck Killers.

In a news conference Thursday, Staff Inspector Mike Earl said police believe the kidnapping was in retaliation for the condo ambush.

“I wouldn’t call this an ‘innocent stranger’ kidnapping,” Earl said. “This is basically a gang-war kidnapping.”

The two boys were tied to chairs and beaten, threatened with a gun, and forced to play Russian Roulette with a loaded handgun.

At one point a shot was fired on the property.

Police were called to the area twice during this time on reports of suspicious activity, but they were not able to find anything.

After police showed up in the area, the kidnappers moved the boys to locations in the Flemingdon Park and Lawrence Heights neighbourhoods.

Earl said they were tied to chairs again and beaten throughout the day. It is also alleged that they were forced to perform sexual acts.

Ransom demands were made to the boys’ families.

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29-year-old Sudanese claims he didn’t know he was 29

‘Teen’ basketball player says he didn’t know he was 29

Jonathan Nicola told officials he wasn’t lying when he allegedly posed as a teenager to attend high school in Canada — he just didn’t know his real age.

Jonathan Nicola, 29, was detained by Canada Border Services Agency officials after allegedly posing as a 17-year-old high school student in Windsor. The 6-foot-9 Nicola is shown in action on the Catholic Central High School’s basketball team.

A 29-year-old South Sudanese man told officials he wasn’t lying when he allegedly posed as a teenager to attend high school in Canada — he just didn’t know his real age.

(…)

“I aways keep asking what is the specific age that I was born, and she has told me that she could not remember,” he told the April 19 hearing.

“Over (in South Sudan) . . . not every year we study . . . we always keep moving to different schools, and over there, they do not ask your age. They do not ask you nothing,” Nicola said.

(…)

“I am not a liar person. I am religious. I pray to God . . . If something bad happen to me here, I do not know what would happen to my mother back home because she is really sick. She has diabetes,” Nicola said.

According to a transcript of the April 19 hearing, Nicola arrived at Pearson International Airport last Nov. 23 on a student visa to attend Catholic Central Secondary School in Windsor on a full scholarship.

Some immigration consultants violating rules of private refugee sponsorship program

CBC INVESTIGATES

Some immigration consultants violating rules of private refugee sponsorship program

Syrians in Gulf states being asked to pay settlement funds that are supposed to be paid by private sponsors

By Laura Lynch, Ghalia Bdiwe, CBC News Posted: Apr 19, 2016 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 21, 2016 6:00 PM ET

Media placeholder

John McCallum to investigate immigration consultant fees 2:16
CBC News has learned about a troubling aspect of the drive to bring Syrians to Canada: professional immigration consultants, in partnership with some refugee sponsorship groups, are charging refugees thousands of dollars in arrangements that critics say are unethical and violate federal rules on sponsorship.

The immigration consultants have been targeting Syrians living in the Gulf states, many of whom are there on work permits and are able to earn a living. In that sense, they are potentially a more lucrative client base than those in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

The consultants advertise on social media and make visits to the region, setting up shop in five-star hotels.

Arrival at the airport

Edmonton resident Nhung Tran-Davies welcomes a family of Syrian refugees she helped to sponsor in March. Canadians across the country have been raising money to privately sponsor Syrian refugees, but a CBC investigation has found that some Syrians coming from Gulf states are being asked to pay the cost of their resettlement up front by immigration consultants who are also charging thousands of dollars to process their applications. (Terry Reith/CBC)

In the case of one such agency, information available online and documents obtained by CBC News reveal that the consultant is not only charging prospective refugees thousands of dollars to process their applications but also asking them to pay the full cost of their resettlement up front, which violates the financial guidelines of the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.

“I find it appalling, honestly,” said Toronto lawyer Jackie Swaisland, who is part of a network of lawyers, immigration consultants and law students that has helped hundreds of refugees get to Canada without charging for their services.

Canada has resettled more than 26,000 Syrian refugees since last November, about 9,000 of whom are privately sponsored and another 2,225 of whom receive a combination of government and private funding.

Bernie Farber on immigration

It’s Time To End The Stigma Of Immigration In Canada

Posted: Updated:
On Tuesday April 19, 2016, I was a witness on behalf of the Mosaic Institute to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration hearings regarding Bill C-6 “Bill C-6: An Act to Amend the Citizenship Act.” This is an edited version of my remarks.

Today I hope to desensationalize some of the ideas about those seeking Canadian citizenship and what it means to be Canadian.

I have a visceral understanding of the refugee and immigration experience, simply because I was brought up in its shadow. I understand in the heart of my hearts the value and power of Canadian citizenship. Both my parents left their ancestral homes not because they wanted to, but as a result of antisemitism and persecution.

My parents’ immigration experience and the work I am involved with today at the Mosaic Institute have informed my life and I have learned much that may be helpful to this committee.

Firstly, people love being Canadian. Whether they arrived yesterday or have been here for generations, there is something about this country that inspires. Our work has proven that our diversity is one of the reasons people quickly ascribe to and adopt Canadian ways of life.

In 2014, we received a grant from Public Safety Canada to conduct a study titled The Perception and Reality of Imported Conflict in Canada. This research was conducted as part of Public Safety Canada’s efforts to “shed light on terrorism and how best to address it in Canada.”

When citizenship is achieved, it is treasured and harnessed. I say harnessed because it becomes a vehicle by which people’s lives are improved.

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