Government Launches Review of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

News Release

June 9, 2017—Ottawa, ON – Canada has a proud humanitarian tradition of providing protection to those fleeing persecution while ensuring that our asylum system is not subject to misuse. The Government is committed to upholding this tradition.

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced the launch of a review of asylum processing procedures at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The review will look at how asylum claims are currently processed, with a focus on further increasing productivity at the IRB.

Increasing productivity will help to provide quick decisions on asylum claims which is important for those in need of protection. The Government is fully engaged and committed to orderly migration and protecting the safety and security of Canadians.

Neil Yeates, a retired senior public servant, has been designated as a third-party expert leading the review.  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the IRB have established an independent secretariat to support Mr. Yeates and a steering committee to oversee the review. 


“Canada’s asylum system must strike a balance between providing protection to those fleeing persecution and ensuring that the system is not misused by those who do not need Canada’s protection. This independent review will identify options and recommended approaches to further increase productivity with respect to the processing of asylum claims.” 

 – The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick Facts

  • Asylum claims are governed in part by international treaties to which Canada is a signatory. The Government of Canada has a legal responsibility to assess asylum claims made under these international conventions.

  • A final report outlining the findings of the review, as well as recommendations for action, is to be completed by summer 2018.  An Interim Report will be provided by mid-December 2017.

  • The review will also look at the IRB’s mandate as it relates to governance, structure and associated accountability mechanisms. Given the size and scale of the review, we are ensuring there is sufficient time to complete the work and provide a comprehensive review.

  • Concurrent with this review and in response to a growing number of asylum claims, the IRB has already implemented measures to process some asylum claims more quickly without sacrificing security screening. Learn more

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For media only

Bernie Derible
Minister’s Office
mmigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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