A haven no more: Canada's conservative refugee policy

By Al Jazeera, 15 September 2015

Nabil Hawara spent 20 years as a political prisoner in Syria before fleeing the war-torn country with his family as refugees in 2013 in the hope of reaching Canada - and the promise of a brighter future.

Two-and-a-half years later, he's still waiting on bureaucratic red-tape that would reunite him with his wife and children in Montreal.

Canadian immigration rules wouldn't allow Hawara to bring his family along from Turkey after he applied for refugee status, and he now spends his days eager for updates from the government, which hasn't provided a reason why they're not with him.

Where the parties stand on charities’ political activities

By The Toronto Star, 14 September 2015

The Conservatives have no plan to change their tune on the issue of modernizing the tax rules governing how much registered charities can take part in debates on public policy, according to a new report on the issue.

However, both the NDP and the Greens have committed to updating the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) rules, while the Liberals have promised to clarify them, the report said.

Fix Canada’s Broken Access to Information System

By Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, 14 September 2015

The undersigned organizations have issued a joint letter to the major political parties in Canada calling on them to make concrete commitments to reform Canada’s access to information system.

A strong access to information system is vital to maintaining a healthy democracy. The public has the right to obtain the information it needs to participate meaningfully in the democratic process, while also holding Canada’s public officials and Members of Parliaments accountable. The current system is failing Canadians.

Canada Must Welcome Refugees

By Canadian Association of Muslim Women in Law, 10 September 2015

In 2014, there were 19.5 million refugees in the world, with an average of 42,500 people forced every day to migrate due to conflict and persecution. Only about 10% of these refugees were hosted by countries in the West. This year, approximately 3,270 refugees have already died on their journeys to safety.

In under a decade, the Canadian government has implemented 111 new immigration policies without parliamentary approval — compared to 19 in the preceding century and a half.

Accordingly, the Canadian Association of Muslim Women in Law (CAMWL) stands in solidarity with community and advocacy groups across the country in calling on the Canadian government to welcome refugees.

Syrian seeking refugee status still in limbo years after arriving in Canada

By iPolitics, 9 September 2015

Hussein Rahim had already lost his cousin and uncle — one shot dead, the other missing — when he was arrested by military forces during a protest in his native Syria.

His family paid thousands of dollars for his release, but fear of being detained again as the unrest turned to armed conflict prompted him to seek asylum in Canada. But three years later, the 35-year-old said he remains in limbo, his case unheard and his fate uncertain.

Worldwide attention has focused on the plight of Syrian refugees fleeing the war-torn country. Some have family members living abroad who are trying to sponsor from afar; others, like Rahim, take matters into their own hands. Either way is a difficult process.

Attempts to protect Canada's lakes, rivers 'all but abandoned': analysis

By CTV News, 1 September 2015

A statistical analysis of the Conservative government's changes to environmental laws and procedures suggests Ottawa has "all but abandoned" attempts to protect Canada's lakes and rivers.

Environmental oversight by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans dropped dramatically during the 2000s -- a time when Canada saw huge spending in the resource industries.

Student debt collection to ramp up, according to government documents

By CBC News, 31 August 2015

Hundreds of thousands of university and college students walking onto campuses this week with help from federal loans could find themselves under more pressure than ever to repay billions of dollars in loans and grants.

Employment and Social Development Canada, which oversees the Canada Student Loans program, has set more aggressive collection targets after feeling pressure from its political masters to stem the rising amount of student debt the government must write off each year, an amount that topped $300 million just two years ago.

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