Canada’s faith leaders have banded together to call for the elimination of a federal “head tax” that places heavy financial burdens on immigrants and refugees.
The Right of Landing Fee, imposed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada in 1995, charges every immigrant and refugee arriving in the country a flat fee of $975. These expenses come on top of normal processing fees of $500 per adult and $100 per child.
At a Jan. 25 news conference organized by the Inter-Church Committee for Refugees, representatives of Canada’s Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh and Hindu communities argued that the federal budget surplus should mean an end to the landing fee. They say it is unfair for the Canadian government to maintain a tax on immigrants and refugees when the rest of the country looks forward to income-tax reductions.