Meeting bi-annually, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada’s Consultative Committee (IRBCC) brings together stakeholders with specialized knowledge or expertise and IRB’s senior management. This committee allows for a more comprehensive understanding of our operative portfolios and enhances the development and review of our initiatives and processes through formalized and frequent engagement with stakeholders.
Last meeting: November 25, 2020
Terms of Reference
- The IRBCC's national meetings will deal with current and emerging national issues and focus on the IRB's operations as they impact on its stakeholders. A national interest should be demonstrated before an issue is included on the agenda of an IRBCC national meeting.
- The national meetings will be an important vehicle for exchanging information and to address issues of mutual concern. The IRB will use the forum to advise its stakeholders of its organizational priorities, gather their views, and to consult on specific policies and initiatives as appropriate.
- Experts may be invited to the committee to present to the membership on issues of common interest.
- Biannual national meetings take place in the fall and in the spring, and are presided over by the IRB Chairperson or the Chairperson's delegate.
- The spring meeting will be used to:
- share the IRB's policy agenda for the new fiscal year and invite stakeholders' views
- invite forward-thinking discussions on specific topics of concern to the IRB
- consult on current-year policies and initiatives as appropriate
- inform members of the IRB's planned consultation activities over the current year
- The fall meeting will be used to:
- report back to the committee on how the views they shared with the IRB on its agenda have been addressed
- consult on current-year policies and initiatives as appropriate
- The IRB's Policy, Engagement and Parliamentary Affairs (PEPA) provides secretarial services for the IRBCC national meetings. The IRB will consult with IRBCC members in order to prepare meeting agendas.
- The focus of the IRBCC national meetings will be on information exchange with a view to informing stakeholders of the IRB's strategic priorities and initiatives. No commitment documents will be produced, however a summary report of the meeting will be provided to members. Also, when consultations take place at the IRBCC meeting or follow-ups are requested on specific issues, the IRB will report back to members.
- Regularly scheduled regional meetings complement the national committee meetings. Regional meetings normally focus on local issues, such as the local impact of implementing national practices and procedures. IRB regional offices co-ordinate preparations for regional meetings.
- Regional committees have an important role in addressing unique circumstances that may be present in each region. Most operational issues are expected to be resolved at the local level. When local issues cannot be resolved at the local level and have the potential to become national issues, they should be raised with IRB Headquarters (PEPA), as IRBCC is not an automatic recourse for a regional impasse. Issues that warrant a broad discussion with all stakeholders will be raised by the IRB at national meetings.
- The work done by the IRB regional offices with regional stakeholders is an integral part of the IRB's stakeholder engagement, and it provides valuable insight on regional issues, as well as on the impact of national policies and initiatives on the regions. Following each regional meeting, Assistant Deputy Chairpersons (ADCs) will share their meeting agendas, minutes and records of decision with PEPA.
Consultation on IRB strategic priorities, new policies and new initiatives
- As an independent federal government institution, the IRB is responsible for setting its own strategic priorities and for the development of its operational policy.
- External groups provide valuable insight and perspectives on refugee and immigration policy and initiatives. The IRB recognizes that the successful implementation of new policies and initiatives that affect stakeholders and those who appear before the IRB may require discussions and/or consultations with other federal government departments and stakeholders.
- Members of the IRBCC are among the groups to be informed of the IRB's strategic priorities and, where appropriate, consulted on new policies and initiatives. IRBCC stakeholders will be asked to provide their views and the IRB will communicate how their contributions were taken into account. The IRB has a responsibility to carefully consider comments received from its stakeholders during consultations and, as appropriate, to reflect these comments in the final product.
IRB (internal) membership includes:
- Chief of Staff
- Executive Director
- Deputy Chairperson, RPD
- Deputy Chairperson, IAD
- Deputy Chairperson, ID
- Deputy Chairperson, RAD
- Senior General Counsel
- Director General, Strategic Directions and Corporate Affairs
- Director General, Tribunal Services
- Senior Director, Policy, Engagement and Parliamentary Affairs
- Secretariat: Outreach and Engagement Unit
Stakeholder (external) IRBCC members include representatives from:
- The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) (3 members)
- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Office in Canada (UNHCR) (1 member)
- The Canadian Bar Association (CBA National, ON, BC) (3 members)
- L'Association québécoise des avocats et avocates en droit de l'immigration (AQAADI) (2 members)
- The Refugee Lawyers Association (RLA) (1 member)
- Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC) (2 members)
- Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) (1 member)
- Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) (1 member)
Agenda of last meeting
Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2020
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (ET)
- Chantal Ianniciello - AQAADI
- Perla Abou-Jaoudé - AQAADI
- Éric Taillefer - BAJ Montréal/Laval
- Alex Ning - CAPIC
- Mihaela Kerezova - CAPIC
- Maureen Silcoff - CARL
- Amanda Aziz - CBA
- Arghavan Gerami - CBA
- Molly Joeck - CBA
- Janet Dench - CCR
- Claire Roque - CCR
- Anne Woolger - CCR
- Rod Holloway - LABC
- Andrew Brouwer - LAO
- Arvin Afzali - RLA
- Azadeh Tamjeedi - UNHCR
Prairie Research Associates Inc:
- Amy Richmond
- Richard Wex, Chairperson
- Evan Travers, Chief of Staff, Chairperson's Office
- Laurie Ham, A/Director, Chairperson's Office
- Jason Choueiri, Executive Director
- Roula Eatrides, Deputy Chairperson, RPD
- Paula Thompson, Deputy Chairperson, RAD
- Greg Kipling, Deputy Chairperson, ID
- Suzanne Gilbert, Deputy Chairperson, IAD
- Holly Holtman, Senior General Counsel, Legal Services
- Christian Laverdure, Director General, Tribunal Services
- Heather Primeau, Director General, Strategic Directions and Corporate Affairs
- Stephen Bolton, A/Senior Director, Policy, Engagement and Parliamentary Affairs
- Ray Kunze, Ombudsperson
- Marie Gorman, Manager, Stakeholder Engagement
- Sara Regnier-McKellar, A/Manager, Stakeholder Communications
- Martine Bareil, Senior Communications
L’Association québécoise des avocats et avocates en droit de l’immigration (AQAADI)
Bureau d’aide juridique de Montréal/Laval (BAJ Montréal/Laval)
Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC)
Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL)
Canadian Bar Association (CBA)
Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR)
Legal Aid British Columbia (LABC)
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO)
Refugee Lawyers Association (RLA)
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
|1:00 – 1:10||Chairperson’s Opening Remarks||Richard Wex|
|1:10 – 1:50|
Update on Quality Initiatives:
- Immigration Appeal Division
- Immigration Division
- Refugee Protection Division
- Refugee Appeal Division
|1:50 – 2:10||Discussion||All|
|2:10 – 2:30||New Ombudsperson for the IRB||Ray Kunze|
|2:30 – 3:05|
Update on the Third-Party Evaluation – IRB’s Process for Making a Complaint about a Member:
- Presentation by Amy Richmond Prairie Research Associates Inc.
|3:05 – 3:30||Discussion||All|
|3:30 - 3:40||
|3:40 – 4:20|
Update on Chairperson’s Guidelines:
- Update on Guideline 2 – Detention
- Update on the Review of Guideline 4 – Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution
- Implementation of the recommendations resulting from the review of Guideline 9 – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression
|4:20 - 4:55||Discussion||All|
|4:55 - 5:00||Chairperson’s Closing Remarks||Richard Wex|