Ministerial Influence at the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board: The Case for Institutional Bias

Authors

  • Jacqueline Bonisteel

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.25071/1920-7336.34352

Abstract

This paper explores the implications of Canada’s Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s July 2009 comments on Mexican and Czech refugee claimants that accompanied the imposition of visas for these two countries. I argue that the Minister’s comments, in concert with his control over the tenure of Immigration and Refugee Board members, substantiate a claim that the Board is institutionally biased. While allegations of institutional bias have not fared particularly well in Canadian courts, I contend that the applicability of section 7 Charter rights distinguishes the immigration and refugee context, and makes success more probable. Specifically, I posit that the Minister’s comments have opened a window of opportunity to bring an end to the executive’s unfettered discretion over IRB reappointments, since the most effective remedy to address institutional bias would be amendment of the reappointment process.

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How to Cite

Bonisteel, J. (2011). Ministerial Influence at the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board: The Case for Institutional Bias. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 27(1), 103–109. https://doi.org/10.25071/1920-7336.34352

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Section

Feature Articles