Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
The original version was signed by
The Honourable Chris Alexander
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, 2015
This document is available in alternative formats upon request.
Institutional head’s message
The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is an independent administrative tribunal entrusted by Parliament with resolving immigration and refugee cases efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law. The IRB discharges its duties at arm’s length from the Government of Canada, but is fully accountable to Parliament and to all Canadians.
The IRB’s work is accomplished in an ever changing environment in which shifting migration patterns, domestic legislative changes and other factors have an impact on the number of cases received and their complexity. Through the decisions and resolutions made by its four divisions, namely the Refugee Protection Division (RPD), the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD), the Immigration Division (ID) and the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD), the Board contributes directly to Canada’s humanitarian traditions, the security of Canada and the quality of life of Canadians, as well as to the fulfillment of our international obligations.
Key priorities for 2015‑16
The IRB’s strategic priorities for 2015‑16 are:
- Resolve cases in a timely manner while ensuring quality and fairness
- Foster an adaptive and flexible organization that effectively manages its intake and workload
- Continue to build an organization that values its people and promotes management excellence
The ID remains a high-producing tribunal, with a significant volume of detention reviews and admissibility hearings; its decisions affect the lives of those appearing before it and it plays a part in ensuring the security of Canadians. The IRB will continue rebuilding capacity in the IAD, which will have a full complement of decision-makers by early 2015‑16. This, together with a renewed focus on early resolution, will ensure that the IAD continues its recent trend of reducing processing times.
The number of refugee protection claims received by the RPD has been variable, with an increase in intake in fall 2014. The current priority for the RPD is to ensure that its decision making capacity can meet intake, even in times of rapidly increasing claims. The RAD will also focus on processing times within a changing jurisprudential landscape. The RAD will review its processes and training, as it welcomes new decision-makers in 2015‑16.
As a result of the IRB’s adaptability and flexibility and the dedication of our workforce, we have succeeded in resolving the majority of the RPD’s refugee protection claims that remained in the pending inventory (legacy claims) upon the coming into force of the new legislation in December 2012. The number of these legacy claims has been reduced from over 30,000 to fewer than 10,000 in the past two years. Over the coming year, the IRB will continue its efforts to further reduce the RPD’s inventory of legacy cases. The pace of resolution will be slower, however, given that the mandates of most of the Governor in Council decision-makers assigned to the legacy initiative will expire before the end of 2015‑16.
I begin my new mandate as Chairperson of the IRB with much hope and determination. I have been struck in my first weeks as Chairperson by the professionalism of our workforce, for whom I have great respect. The Board has transitioned through a period of significant change, relying on assumptions and planning that in some cases required adjustment as we gained experience in the new system. Prudent management of resources, a re evaluation of reform assumptions and an alignment of resources with respect to our core functions and key priorities will serve the Board well in 2015‑16. I am confident that over the coming year the IRB, on behalf of all Canadians, will continue to deliver high quality and fair resolutions, in accordance with the law.
The original version was signed by
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