Canada’s asylum system plagued with systemic problems: independent review

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OTTAWA — An independent review of the Immigration and Refugee Board says there are persistent and systemic problems with the organization that handles asylum claims and appeals — problems it says can’t be fixed without a major shift at the top.

The review, the result of a year-long analysis of the arms-length refugee board, also says Ottawa spends an average of $216 million every year on those who come to Canada in search of asylum.

It found a long and storied history of problems when it comes to managing spikes in asylum claims and backlogs — and the current influx of irregular migrants is no exception.

The report recommends fundamental changes to the way the board operates, including putting the board under the authority of the federal immigration minister.

Currently, the IRB operates at arms-length from the government, a level of autonomy that managers and stakeholders have been reluctant to forgo.

The review says a better governance model is needed to oversee the entire asylum system in order to improve communication, reduce red tape ensure more predictable funding and better reporting tools.

— Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter

The Canadian Press

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