The Canadian Senate has adopted a motion to amend Bill C-6 (the Citizenship Bill) to increase the requirement of language and knowledge test for citizenship from age 55 to 60. The Bill is almost at the final stage of becoming law, but is yet to receive final approval in Parliament.
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Through The Professional Education and Training Project (PET), OCASI aims to make funding available to organizations for group in-house professional development training to improve settlement services by addressing gaps in skills, knowledge and attitudes of service providers within each participating agencies. The project also provides settlement practitioners access to online e-learning course.
As far as we understand there are other pending amendments to which we must pay attention. For example, the clause dealing with dual citizens and the government right to deport based on criminality or ‘treason’ we know will be cause for great debate. Organizations like OCASI and the National Council of Canadian Muslims among other progressive organizations spoke out strongly against giving the government the power to revoke citizenship and deport dual citizens arguing that this set up a two tier citizenship regime which is fundamentally unfair. We argued that citizenship is a fundamental right that cannot be taken away. Our current federal government agrees and is seeking to reverse this part of the Citizenship Act through Bill C6.
OCASI and many others across Canada are calling on the Canadian government to suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement with the US. Asylum seekers that enter Canada from the U.S. through regulated border points are subject to the Agreement, and may not be allowed to stay to make a refugee claim. Many Canadians are concerned about the health, safety and well-being of asylum seekers who are crossing the border into Canada at unregulated points, while others mistakenly believe they are breaking the law and should be stopped.
Refugee Rights Month is commemorated on April 4 every year in Canada to bring attention to the advances made in the protection of refugee rights in Canada as a result of the Supreme Court decision (the ‘Singh’ decision) in 1985. Join us this year to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of the 'Singh Decision'.