Begum v. Canada (MCI) 2023 FC 1317
In Begum v. Canada (MCI) Justice Elliott reviewed the Applicant’s cessation decision. The Applicant was a Pakistani citizen who was granted refugee protection in 2012 based on her Ahmadi Muslim faith. In 2014 and 2018 the Applicant applied and received a Pakistani Passport which she used to make six trips to Pakistan between 2014 and 2020. In 2021, the Minister made a cessation application, which was granted by the Refugee Protection Division (RPD), finding that the Applicant voluntarily reavailed herself of the protection of Pakistan. On judicial review, Justice Elliott found that the RPD had unreasonably concluded that the Applicant failed to rebut the presumption that she intended to reavail. Firstly, the RPD made a reviewable error by dismissing the Applicant’s testimony that she was unaware of the consequences of travelling to Pakistan because she ought to have known. Second, the RPD failed to identify the agents of persecution or address the question if the Applicant’s use of her Pakistani passport would expose her to them. This was a significant oversight as the Applicant provided evidence that she took measures to hide from local religious leaders. Third, the RPD failed to consider the Applicant’s evidence on the precautionary measures she took while in Pakistan. Lastly, the RPD failed to consider the Applicant’s personal attributes; the Applicant being a 68-year-old woman with no work experience and a grade 5 education. Justice Elliott noted that the Applicant’s minimal education could have had bearing on her understanding of the consequences associated with her travel to Pakistan. The application for leave was allowed.
Kibiku v. Canada (MCI) 2023 FC 1310
In Kibiku v. Canada (MCI) Justice Fuhrer examined the Applicant’s Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) decision. The Applicant was a citizen of Kenya and member of the Kikuyu tribe. The applicant claimed asylum based on fear of threats and violence from the Mungiki criminal gang and his half-uncles due to a land dispute. The Refugee Protection Division (RPD) refused the claim and the RAD dismissed the appeal. On judicial review, Justice Fuhrer found that the RAD’s decision had to be set aside due to lack of procedural fairness. The definitive issue for the RPD was credibility due to inconsistency in dates, timelines, and central facts. While the RPD did refer to the Applicant’s documents during the credibility assessment, the RPD did not find the documents to be fraudulent or non-genuine. On appeal, however, the RAD examined the Applicant’s documents more closely and noted several irregularities in the documents, determining that several of them were not genuine, bolstering the RAD’s negative decision. Justice Fuhrer found that the RAD’s determination regarding fraudulent documents was a “new issue” and as such should have provided the Applicant with an opportunity to respond to the RAD’s concern. The application for leave was allowed.
Ghbremariam v. Canada (MCI) 2023 FC 1305
In Ghbremariam v. Canada (MCI) Justice Fothergill assessed the Applicants’ Convention Refugee Abroad Class decision. The Applicants were a family from Eritrea who currently resided in Ethiopia and were recognized as Convention refugees by the UNHCR. The Officer refused their permanent residence application on credibility grounds. On judicial review, Justice Fothergill found that the Officer failed to properly engage with the UNHCR’s designation, and failed to consider whether their claim might be sustained despite the credibility concerns. There was no discussion of the grounds that the UNHCR found that Applicants to be Convention refugees. Moreover, the decision lacked a clear explanation as to why the Officer did not concur with the UNHCR’s determination. Justice Fothergill also noted that the elements of the Applicants’ narrative that the Officer did find credible could have been sufficient to support the UNHCR’s designation. The application for leave was allowed.
Ramazanzadeh v. Canada (MPSEP) 2023 FC 1288
In Ramazanzadeh v. Canada (MPSEP) Justice O’Reilly reviewed the Applicant’s Immigration Division (ID) decision. The Applicant was a Kurdish citizen of Iran who sought asylum on the grounds of political persecution. The ID found the Applicant inadmissible due to having been a member of the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDP-I), a group alleged to have been associated with acts of subversion against the Iranian government. On judicial review, Justice O’Reilly found the key issue was whether the ID erred by concluding that the KDP-I and the Iranian Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) were the same. Justice O’Reilly found that while there were ties between the two groups, there were also significant differences that the ID had disregarded. Taken as a whole, the evidence did not support the finding that the KDP and the KDP-I were the same organization. “The ID’s approach resulted in a finding that a person who distributes literature and information, and meets with the leaders of a group that has renounced violence, seeks to raise awareness, and build networks in the Kurdish community, can be considered to be a member of an organization that seeks to carry out a violent take-over of the Iranian government and has killed thousands in the pursuit of that goal” (at para. 25). The ID’s conclusion contained internal contradictions and did not take proper account of contradicting evidence. The application for leave was allowed.