A federal Private Members Bill that will have serious implications for the income security of refugee claimants and others without permanent status in Canada has been delayed.
Bill C585, introduced by backbench Conservative MP Corneliu Chisu in April, did not proceed to Second Reading in the House of Commons yesterday as scheduled. Mr. Chisu was not in Ottawa to speak to the Bill.
If passed, the Bill will allow provinces to restrict access to social assistance benefits for particular groups of people by imposing minimum residency requirements for eligibility. Refugee claimants are among those who would be particularly impacted.
Your concern about this Bill has made a big difference!
People across the country have been speaking out against C585. As a result of an Information and Action Kit (la version française ici) that we put together and distributed with our partners (see the list below), many of you and many more wrote letters of concern to Members of Parliament, including the federal Party leaders and the Bill’s sponsor, Mr. Chisu.
The delay in progress of the Bill is very good news as it means more time to inform and engage communities across the country. And it means even more opportunity to speak out against it.
But the Bill is coming back.
Second Reading is likely to be rescheduled for sometime in mid-October.
We can’t lose the momentum we’ve all created to try to defeat this Bill.
We will be stepping up action on the Bill and will circulate new information and action items soon.
In the meantime, if you haven’t already, please consult our Backgrounder for more information about the Bill and its progress through the House of Commons. La version française est disponible ici.
Read the Toronto Star’s coverage of the impact of the Bill and its implications for refugee claimants and the organizations that provide them with vital services and supports.
And listen to a fuller exploration of the problems with this Bill in this Rabble.ca audio podcast.
BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre
Canada Without Poverty
Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers
Canadian Council for Refugees
Legal Assistance of Windsor
Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
Parkdale Community Legal Services
Rexdale Community Legal Clinic
South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario