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Lawsuit claims Canada’s now defunct safe country rules ‘marginalize, prejudice, and stereotype’ refugees

August 14, 2023

Toronto Star reports on our proposed class action against the federal government

We have launched class action proceedings against the Government of Canada seeking $100 million in damages caused by the imposition of the discriminatory and unconstitutional Designated Country of Origin scheme.

The DCO “Designated Countries of Origin” scheme imposed procedural and substantive hardships on refugee claimants from countries that were designated by the Government of Canada as DCO countries. These hardships included a denial of access to health care, a bar on appeals to the Refugee Appeal Division, a 36-month bar on PRRA applications, and a 180-day bar on obtaining work permits.

The Toronto Star reports on the proposed class action and interviews the two representative plaintiffs and GP’s co-counsel, Ashley Fisch:

“This class action is about what consequences the Canadian government should face when it knowingly violates the rights of individuals under the Charter,” said Ashley Fisch, a co-counsel for the plaintiff along with Subodh Bharati, Louis Century and Jared Will.

“The class action seeks to right the wrongs committed by the Canadian government in knowingly allowing these unconstitutional provisions to remain active and harmful for 5 years.”

Not only had the government been put on notice of the unconstitutionality of the DCO regime as early as 2014, Fisch said the then newly-elected Trudeau government acknowledged the court decisions were correct and withdrew the appeals by the previous Conservative government of those rulings.

You can find more details about the class action here.

You can read the Toronto Start article here.

The Globe and Mail also has a report on the class action.


Louis Century

Practice Areas

Class Action Litigation, Constitutional Law