The Schlifer Clinic has serious concerns about Bill C-43, which if passed, has serious implications for the income security of refugee claimants and those without permanent status in Canada, including immigrant and refugee women experiencing violence:


“Once the Budget passes, refugee claimants and other people without permanent status could lose their only source of income.

In some cases, refugee claimants may be eligible for a work permit, but it can take time for a permit to be approved and issued. An alternate source of income is required, at least in the interim, which social assistance frequently provides. Even with a work permit, it can be hard to find a job, particularly for people who are suffering from trauma and the impact of violence and persecution in their home country. Many speak neither English nor French. Others are not eligible for a work permit, such as newly-arrived claimants from countries that the federal government has designated as “safe” – regardless of the violence or persecution they have experienced there.

Without social assistance, they will be unable to feed, house, or clothe themselves and their families. They will be forced to turn to already overburdened charities and shelters, or they will end up on the street. Those with serious health needs will have no access to prescription drugs that are covered as part of social assistance benefits.”

– Federal Budget will Restrict Refugee Claimant Access to Social Assistance, Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC).

Download ISAC’s Full Bill C-43 Backgrounder

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