Federal Court


Immigration and Citizenship

Refugee protection

Credibility

Refugee Protection Division exercised independent judgment and conducted own assessment

Applicants were husband, wife, and 12-year-old daughter, who claimed refugee protection on basis parents would be persecuted for breaching China’s one-child policy. Applicant parents claimed that they wanted more children, but mother was forced to have two abortions and they were served with sterilization notices, and then fled China after officials attended their house to serve second sterilization notice and notice suspending daughter from school. Refugee Protection Division (RPD) dismissed applicants’ claim, finding documents were not genuine and allegations not credible. RPD found fact that application for U.S. visa was made before authorities allegedly attended applicants’ house undermined their claim, and noted one-child policy had changed to permit two children, so applicants would not be sterilized if they returned to China. Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) admitted new evidence that mother was pregnant, but did not admit new evidence of news article indicating couples with two children still faced forced sterilization. RAD deferred to RPD’s credibility findings and agreed there was no persuasive evidence applicants would be sterilized. Applicants brought application for judicial review of RAD decision. Application dismissed. It was reasonable for RAD to refuse to accept article as new evidence, as information it was based on was available before RPD hearing, and conjecture RAD referred to was that of activist who claimed new policy did not end forced sterilization. RAD’s reasons were brief, but it was not unreasonable to defer to RPD’s findings, as it was apparent it still exercised independent judgment and conducted own assessment. RAD extensively reviewed RPD’s findings based on applicants’ submissions and record, and reasonably recognized RPD had meaningful advantage in assessing credibility. Both RPD and RAD found sterilization notices were fraudulent, so RAD’s findings about future risks of sterilization were inconsequential to decision.

Guo v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 875, 2017 FC 317, Keith M. Boswell J. (F.C.).

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