CANADIAN HOUSING & RENEWAL ASSOCIATION Infographic

 THE CANADIAN HOUSING& RENEWAL ASSOCIATION is the national voice for the full range of affordable housing and homelessness issues and solutions.

HE CANADIAN HOUSING  & RENEWAL ASSOCIATION INFOGRAPHIC

HE CANADIAN HOUSING
& RENEWAL ASSOCIATION INFOGRAPHIC

 

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Refugee Services in Rexdale

Rexdale is located within an ‘urgent priority’ neighborhood of Toronto with a large number of new immigrant families; a demonstrated need for refugee services.

Since April 1, 2011 Legal Aid Ontario has issued 301 Certificates to clients residing in the M9W, M9V, M9R, and M9P postal code prefixes, which allow clients to seek out private immigration law services who accept LAO certificates. Nearly half of these certificates have been issued to clients who originate from Somalia and Nigeria.

US Blackhawk helicopter over Mogadishu on the Day of Rangers

PHOTO: US Department of State

Somalia has been in a de facto state of civil war since 1991 when the communist dictatorship of Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted by a coalition of rebel movements.

Nigerian troops with US C130 transport aircraft

PHOTO: US Department of State

Nigeria has been plagued by ethnic conflict and violent disputes over oil since the country regained democracy in 1999, after 33 years of military rule.

Refugee Certificates issued by LAO in Rexdale from April, 2011 to Present:

COUNTRY of ORIGIN Number of LAO Certificates Issued
SOMALIA 103
NIGERIA 43
Pakistan 16
Hungary 9
Poland 8
St. Vincent & the Grenadines 8
Afghanistan 8
Namibia 7
India 6
Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturism speaks to media Day 31st, 2010 on the proposed Balanced Refugee Reform Act, introduced in the House of Commons on March 30.

PHOTO:  Dave Abel / Toronto Sun / QMI Agency.

Balanced Refugee Reform

On 15 December 2012, important changes to Canada’s refugee determination system came into effect. The Balanced Refugee Reform Act brought many changes to the refugee protection system. Intended to deliver faster decisions, deter abuse and quickly remove persons not in need of Canada’s protection.

“Our changes will make Canada’s asylum system faster and fairer,” said Canada;s former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and current Minister for Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, The Honorable Jason Kenny. “For too long, Canada’s generous asylum system has been vulnerable to abuse. Under the new asylum system, genuine refugees fleeing persecution will receive protection more quickly. At the same time, bogus asylum claimants and those who abuse our generous system at great expense to taxpayers, will be removed much faster.”

Changes to Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

  • The Personal Information Form is now referred to as the Basis of Claim
  • 28 day time line to submit this form has been reduced to 15 DAYS
  • A hearing will take place no longer than 60 days from the day the claim is made.

This is down from the average 600 days to receive a hearing (CIC).

TIME LINE: Claim made at Port of Entry (ex. Pearson Airport)

  • Day 1- Arrive in Canada-Complete eligibility forms-have eligibility interview-receive BoC and RPD Hearing date
  • Day 10- Deadline for submitting address and telephone number to CBSA
  • Day 15: Deadline for Submitting BoC Forms to IRB-RPD
  • Day 50 (approx) Deadline for submitting all documents to the IRB-RPD
  • Day 60-REFUGEE HEARING
Terminal 1 of Pearson International Airport in Toronto, ON

PHOTO: AcidBomber at en.wikipedia (GNU Free Documentation License)

Designated Countries of Origin

DCOs are countries that do not normally produce refugees, and respect human rights and offer state protection. Claimants from a DCO will have their asylum claim heard faster (30-45 Days) and will not have access to the new Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) at the IRB.

Concerns in the context of female claimants

 With very short timelines for filing forms and for the refugee hearing many women will find they don’t have enough time to prepare for the refugee hearing. It takes time and trust to be ready to speak about traumatic experiences, especially sexual violence. Documentation of human rights abuses against women is not always readily available. It is also more difficult to meet short timelines if you are juggling childcare.

Because of the barriers to legal representation more claimants will be left unrepresented in the new system. Negotiating the refugee process without a representative is particularly difficult for women who have had limited access to education or relevant professional experience.

Woman wearing a hijab

PHOTO: luisrock62, stock.xchng

The Basis of Claim form (BoC)

The Basis of Claim Form is a crucial document that a refugee claimant must fill out for the Immigration and Refugee Board. It is used to determine if they have a valid claim. If information is missing, incorrect, or inconsistent, the Board could refuse the claim.

At the hearing, the claimant will have to answer questions about what they said on the Basis of Claim Form. A Board member who thinks that the claimant has not told the truth—for example, by inventing harm or threats—will refuse the claim.

What Rexdale Community Legal Clinic is doing

  • Prepare and file Basis of Claims with the Refugee Protection Division (RPD)
  • Prepare and represent claimants at the RPD of the Immigration and Refugee Board

Tips for Refugees and community agencies

  • If you are looking to make a refugee claim, contact Rexdale Community Legal Clinic immediately. If you are not within our catchment area we can still give summary advice and will issue appropriate referrals
  • If a client is looking to make a refugee claim, make an immediate referral to Rexdale Community Legal Clinic
  • A potential refugee should never go to CIC without seeking legal advice first-once they do the stringent timelines are triggered!
  • Please Rexdale Community Legal Clinic with any questions and we will be happy to assist

Rexdale Community Legal Clinic's Logo

REXDALE COMMUNITY HUB: OCTOBER 25th Grand Opening!

Rexdale Community Hub: Grand Opening!

 

TORONTO STAR: #KnownToPolice

Carding on the Rise Again
The Toronto Star questions Toronto Police Services’ tactics on TCHC property as well as the controversial and racially disproportionate practice of ‘Carding’ in a 3 part feature: #KnownToPolice

PT.1 As criticism poles up so do the police cards

PT.2 One officer, five years: 6600 contact cards

PT.3 Tense times in policing on TCHC property

http://www.thestar.com

 

LAO Newsroom: LAO supports licensed paralegal services for refugee claimants

LAO newsroom

News archives

LAO Newsroom

LAO supports licensed paralegal services for refugee claimants

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rexdale Community Legal Clinic

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) has selected the Rexdale Community Legal Clinic to run a year-long pilot that provides refugee claimants with the full-time services of an in-house licensed paralegal.

“LAO recognizes that licensed paralegals can provide a wide range of cost-effective, efficient, quality services to refugee claimants,” says Jawad Kassab, LAO’s Executive Lead, Refugee Transformation.

LAO chose the Rexdale Community Legal Clinic for this pilot to serve the large number of refugee claimants (primarily from Nigeria, Somalia and Pakistan) in this community from one location.

The Rexdale Community Legal Clinic is in the Rexdale Community Hub. This hub provides health, social, legal, employment and cultural services to the people in its catchment area — the M9W, M9V, M9R, and M9P postal code — in collaboration with a number of partners, including:

  • the Rexdale Community Health Centre
  • the Rexdale Women’s Centre
  • Rexdale Employment Services and
  • the Somali Business Development Centre.

Over the year to come, the licensed paralegal at Rexdale Community Legal Clinic will, under the supervision of two experienced refugee lawyers:

  • interview refugee claimants
  • prepare Basis of Claim (BOC) forms
  • help claimants gather evidence (such as medical reports) to support their claim
  • file BOC forms with the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB)
  • prepare refugee claimants for hearings before the IRB
  • review files and supporting evidence
  • represent clients at hearings before the RPD of the IRB.

Paralegals are licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada to provide legal advice, document preparation and representation before administrative tribunals such as the Immigration and Refugee Board.

LAO will evaluate this initiative on an ongoing basis and assess its value after a year. In addition, as part of its ongoing assessment of all its service delivery models for refugee claimants, LAO will continue to consult with relevant stakeholders on engaging licensed paralegals to deliver refugee services.

This pilot is one of a number of LAO service delivery initiatives aimed at diversifying LAO’s refugee services model, supporting community-based client legal services and delivering cost-effective, efficient, quality legal representation.

In addition to Rexdale, financially eligible refugee claimants without counsel can choose to attain legal aid services from:

Questions

If you have any questions or require further information please contact:

Jawad Kassab
Executive Lead, Refugee Transformation
Email: kassabja@lao.on.ca

 

Shared from: http://legalaid.on.ca/en/news/newsarchive/1309-16_licensedparalegalsforrefugees.asp

Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage

action-alert

Get ready for September 14th!

September 14th is coming soon — the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage’s second province-wide day of action for a $14 minimum wage!  This month we’ll be carrying out creative actions outside corporate targets who are board members of powerful lobby groups fighting to keep wages low.  You may be surprised to hear who’s on the list!  Stay tuned as we announce the full list next week!

Actions are being organized in Halton, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Peterborough, Sudbury, York Region, Cornwall, London, Toronto and more!   Check out 2 actions happening below.

$14 Minimum Wage Carnival

$14 Minimum Wage Carnival outside Toys “R” Us
Games, marching band and community outreach blitz!

Saturday Sept. 14, 1:00 pm

900 Dufferin Street, Dufferin Mall, Toronto
Meet at the north end of the mall on Dufferin Street.  You won’t be able to miss our banners!

Toys “R” Us made $13.5 billion in sales last year selling toys to kids and their families.

Toys “R” Us says they care about the community they serve. But Toys “R” Us chairs the board of directors of the Retail Council of Canada – an influential lobby group that is wanting to keep wages LOW for Ontario workers.  Help us tell Toys “R” Us that 1 in 7 kids in Ontario live in poverty. If they care about our communities they will support a minimum wage that brings families out of poverty!

More info here

Jane and Finch STREET PARTY for a $14 minimum wage!

Join Jane Finch Action Against Poverty (JFAAP) and allies
Saturday September 14, 2013, 12 to 4 pm

Southeast corner of Jane-Finch intersection,
Support the campaign to raise the minimum wage.
• Food
• Entertainment
• Free t-shirts*, buttons, and prizes (* While supplies last)

More info here:

Tell us what you are organizing on September 14th!  We’ll share the full list of actions next week!

Take Action!

Can you organize an action in your community on September 14th?

You don’t need a lot of people to make a big impact. Get in touch with the campaign for support with materials and action ideas at raisetheminimumwage@gmail.ca or (416) 531-0778, ext. 221

Help send Kathleen Wynne a message

Can’t join an action?  You can still help send a strong message to Premier Kathleen Wynne on September 14th.  Stay tuned for details of an online action on September 14th at www.raisetheminimumwage.ca. Help us spread the word and get 10 of your friends to send a message on September 14th too!

The Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage is coordinated by ACORN, Freedom 90, Mennonite New Life Centre, OCAP, Ontario Campaign 2000, Parkdale Community Legal Services, Put Food in the Budget, Social Planning Toronto, Toronto and York Region Labour Council and the Workers’ Action Centre.

2013 Street Needs Assessment

The City of Toronto’s Interim Report on homelessness titled “Street Needs Assessment 2013” estimates there are 5,219 people living on the streets, a 1% increase from 2009. The results are based on more than 2,000 completed surveys, more completed surveys that any previous years, and also the longest SNA survey, at 13 questions, to date.

The survey found more than a third of the outdoor homeless population identified as Aboriginal, up 18% from 2009.

19.3% of homeless youth identified as LGBQT compared with 9.5% identifying as LGBQT among the total homeless population. 15.6% of the outdoor homeless population claimed to have served in the Canadian Forces. Questions about sexual orientation and military service were not asked in previous SNA surveys.

The amount of seniors among the homeless population has more than doubled since 2009 with 10% of the homeless population aged 61 or order. Those aged 51 and older represented 29.1% of the homeless population indicating a trend towards an aging homeless population. Those aged under 21 accounted for 6.5% of the homeless population, down from 8% in 2009.

While there has not been a dramatic change in the overall number of homeless people in the city, the amount of people living outside has gone up by 24% from 2009 to 447 people. 3,970 were estimated to be living out of city-administered shelters. 356 resided at Violence Against Women shelters. 236 were in health and treatment facilities, and 210 were in correctional facilities.

The duration of homelessness depended largely on where they resided, but averaged at about 3 years.

The majority of those surveyed, 93%, said they want permanent housing and 48.7% are on waiting lists for government subsidized houses.

Read the full report HERE.

Partners for Access and Identification (PAID) helps vulnerable people get identification so they can gain access to basic services and find employment. The PAID clinic is at Rexdale Legal every Thursday afternoon. For more details click HERE.