Aller au contenu

Connecting Ottawa Communique

Connecting Ottawa Communique
23 mai 2023

We are pleased to provide this information for front-line workers to support the information and referral needs of clients. Connecting Ottawa education sessions that may be of interest to workers are listed first followed by information and updates from our lawyers and partners related to services and programs relevant to clients who have a communication barrier due to language or sensory disability. Please feel free to share this email widely among your networks.

Upcoming Connecting Ottawa education sessions:

**Thursday** Connecting Ottawa:  Information/refresher session for front-line workers
Thursday, May 25, 2023
Time:  12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.
Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 831 3905 0653
Passcode: 276581
This session introduces caseworkers in our partnership network to Connecting Ottawa. Heather and Liz will discuss Connecting Ottawa’s mandate, target populations (the people we serve), and how you can access legal support services on behalf of your eligible clients. Heather and Liz will also explain certain legal documents, such as affidavits and statutory declarations; clarify the difference between Legal Aid Ontario and community legal clinics; and talk about what it means to give legal information versus legal advice. We hope new caseworkers at your organizations, or anyone who needs a refresher, can join us!

Information Session:  Understanding RGI single offer subsidized housing
(in conjunction with Reach Canada as part of the Housing Education Series)
Date:  Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Time:  11:00 a.m. – 12:00 pm
Speakers:  Charles Ng, Community Legal Services of Ottawa
Zoom link: Meeting ID: 848 5958 3732
Passcode: 024006
This workshop will provide front-line workers with an understanding of the rules and process surrounding single offer rent-geared-to income subsidized housing assistance in Ottawa. 

Information Session:  Referring clients to Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) and community legal clinics services
Date:  Tuesday, June 6, 2023
Time:  12:00 noon – 1:15 p.m.
Speakers:  Representatives from all Community Legal Clinics and LAO
Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 816 1302 0341
Passcode: 065009
Representatives from all Ottawa community legal clinics and LAO will provide an overview of the areas of law and services that they offer and how to refer clients to their clinic and services. 

Legal information and updates:

Work Permits available to individuals (regardless of status) from countries to which Canada does not carry out deportations
The website of the Canada Border Services Agency lists the countries to which Canada does not currently carry out deportations. These include countries such as Sudan, Haiti, Venezuela, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Iraq, in addition to others. Individuals in Canada who are citizens of these countries qualify for work permits even if they have no status, specifically because they cannot be removed. The full list of countries concerning which Canada has a Temporary Suspension of Removals or Administrative Deferral of Removals is found at:  Individuals from these countries qualify to submit an open work permit application, meaning that they will receive a work permit allowing them to work in any job for any employer. With the application, individuals should include a cover letter indicating that they are from a country to which Canada does not carry out deportations and thus qualify for a work permit under [Regulation 206(1)(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.  For more information about work permits in this scenario see the IRCC page at:

To begin the online open work permit application process visit the following page: If you are uncertain whether a particular individual qualifies for an open work permit, please contact

Ontario social assistance delay for those applying for permanent residence
The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCSS) has issued a policy memorandum to OW and ODSP staff advising that individuals who have applied for permanent residence through IRCC’s online Permanent Residence Portal will not be considered eligible for social assistance until they have received an Acknowledgment of Receipt (AOR) e-mail confirming that their application is deemed to be complete.  IRCC has advised that the service standard for AOR is 10 weeks (70 days).

One-time Grocery Rebate delivered on July 5, 2023
On May 11, 2023, the Cost of Living Act, No. 3 received Royal Assent. Included in this legislation is the new Grocery Rebate, which will provide low- and modest-income Canadians with up to an extra $467 for eligible couples with two children; up to an extra $234 for single Canadians without children; and an extra $225 for seniors, on average. The Grocery Rebate will be delivered with the July GST credit payment to eligible Canadians on July 5, 2023, by direct deposit or cheque through the Canada Revenue Agency. Recipients do not need to apply for the Grocery Rebate. However, they need to file their 2021 income tax and benefit return to receive it.  More information is available at:

On the Radar: Weighing the benefits of MyBenefits
Community Legal Education Ontario published helpful information on the pros and cons of using MyBenefits, an online service for people getting Ontario Works or ODSP: CLEO’s On The Radar – Weighing the benefits of MyBenefits – Steps to Justice. We encourage you to share this information with your clients.

Victims and Survivors of Crime Week in Canada
May 14th-20th, 2023 is a week to raise awareness about the services and assistance available for victims and their families. The resource Family Court and Beyond provides tips and information for women who have been subjected to intimate partner violence and are currently in the family law system, including steps for self-care. For more information, visit Self-care – Family Court & Beyond ( or Home – Victims and Survivors of Crime Week (

Updated welcome brochure for refugee claimants
Refugee 613 has updated the welcome brochure for refugee claimants that was initially developed in 2018 as part of the ReNoO (Refugee Network of Ottawa) coalition. The updated brochure is available in English, French, Arabic, Turkish, and Spanish.  The brochure contains essential information about settlement and social services that refugee claimants need to start their settlement journey in our community. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list or guide, but a resource that will help people get started. All of the language versions can be accessed at:

2023-2024 OCDSB School Year Calendars
Dates for the 2023-2024 school year have now been approved by the Ministry of Education. View the calendars at the following links:  Elementary:  Secondary:

Roundtable:  Alliance for Racialized, Refugee and Im/migrant women – June 8, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
The Alliance for Racialized, Refugee and Im/migrant women will be hosting a National Roundtable: Building Anti Racist Feminist Futures virtual consultation session on June 8 from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.. In this facilitated conversation, we will explore the need and feasibility of forming an antiracist feminist alliance. To learn more about this initiative and to register, visit:

Webinar:  Compassion fatigue for legal professionals – June 6, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
ABLE2 and the Canadian Mental Health Association are leading a discussion on navigating compassion fatigue in your daily practice as a legal professional.  Guest Speakers include Amanda Rocheleau (Registered Social Worker & Compassion Fatigue Specialist), Rebecca Duplantie (Personal Injury Lawyer at McNally Gervan LLP), Jan Marin (Senior Associate at Gluckstein Lawyers), and Tami Cogan (Adjudicator, Licence Appeal Tribunal and Paralegal).  For more information and to register, visit:

Webinar:  Turning the smartphone into a tool for integration – May 24, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Refugee 613’s Digital Messaging for Settlement and Integration (DMSI) team will be delivering a webinar for the Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Project. The webinar will explore how many newcomers struggle to find information to help navigate their first months and years in Canada.  The webinar will be held on May 24, 2023 from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.  For more information and to register, visit:

Welcome Ottawa Week:  Call for events – Deadline May 31, 2023
Ottawa Local Immigration partnership (OLIP) invites event submissions for the 2023 Welcoming Ottawa Week (WOW) that will be held on June 19 – 30. WOW is an annual series of dialogues, cultural and celebratory events, sports activities, documentary screenings, and other fun events, designed to convey the genuine welcome and hospitality of Ottawa residents to newcomers, while providing opportunities for quality interactions between newcomers and long-time residents.  To be qualified as WOW events, events are required to include immigrants and refugees, discuss topics related to newcomer settlement and integration, or celebration of diversity and take place during the WOW 2023 timeframe (June 19th – 30th). To submit an event, visit:

Poverty & human rights roundtable series – June 14, 15 and 16
Campaign 2000, Canada without Poverty and Citizens for Public Justice will be hosting a series of roundtables on June 14, 15 and 16 to develop a community-driven indicator framework for the federal government to use to measure progress towards achieving several of the Campaign 2000 goals, including Goal #1: No Poverty.   The roundtables will include presentations, guest speakers and breakout discussions and will feature those who have been engaged through the SDG’s Project.  Participants will have an opportunity to connect with organizations and individuals dedicated to ending poverty from across the country for movement-building.  For more information, visit:

Reminder: New immigration measures to support Individuals who are citizens of Sudan
IRCC has put in place special measures to assist the immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who were in Sudan and left the country as of April 15, 2023. These immediate family members must now be in a country outside Sudan. The special measures concern facilitating their travel to Canada and granting them access to fee-exempt open work permits and study permits on arrival to Canada. If these family members arrive in Canada before July 15, 2023, they will also be able to apply for family class sponsorship, if they qualify,  without paying application fees. For complete information, see:

Any Sudanese citizens who are already in Canada with valid temporary resident status as a visitor, worker or student can extend their status or change to another temporary resident status without paying the regular processing fees. All Sudanese temporary residents in Canada are now eligible for an open work permit and will be able to work for any employer. For example, if a Sudanese citizen is currently in Canada as a visitor, they can now apply to change their status to worker and will be able to work for any employer and do not have to pay the work permit processing fees. The full details and information explaining how to indicate you are fee exempt can be found on this page:

Reminder: 20th annual AccessAbility day: May 31, 2023
The City of Ottawa’s AccessAbility day is May 31, 2023.  This year’s theme is « Developments in Accessibility Legislation and Policies at the Federal, Provincial, and Municipal Levels, » and will discuss key accessibility issues. Be part of this conversation on shaping the future of accessibility in Canada.   The event will be held on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 from 12:00  noon – 2:00 p.m. via zoom. Pre Registration is required at:

Reminder:  Social Security Tribunal: New process at a glance maps
The Social Security Tribunal website now has a map of the full appeal process for the following appeals.  These process at a glance maps are a visual representation of the processes from start to finish.
Canada Pension Plan disability
Other Canada Pension Plan appeals
Old Age Security (including Guaranteed Income Supplement)

Reminder: University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic Summer Hours
Please be advised that during the 2023 summer session, the University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic (UOCLC) will be holding intakes from May 15 to August 3, 2023 on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 9:30 to 11:30 am.  To schedule an intake appointment, call the UOCLC office at 613-562-5600

In case you missed it … (we think the following information bears repeating)

Updated Connecting Ottawa information sheets
The following resources have been produced by Connecting Ottawa lawyers to provide front line workers and community members with information and referral resources for common legal issues.  Please feel free to share with your clients and networks.

Latest information/resources on the expansion of the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA)
As of March 25, 2023, the Canadian land border with the U.S. is almost entirely closed to refugee claimants. In the past, thousands of individuals sought refugee status at our land border every year. Now, only those who meet very narrow Safe Third Country exceptions are permitted to make their refugee claim at our land border. Claimants who request refugee protection at the border but do not meet an STCA exception or who cross the border undetected but are apprehended within their first 14 days in Canada will be returned to the U.S. and may face detention and deportation.  Connecting Ottawa’s Heather Neufeld presented an information session on the changes to the SCTA and what it may mean for your clients for CLEO Connect on April 20, 2023.  You can watch a recording of the webinar at:  She also prepared a Frequently Asked Questions information sheet on the changes.  The information sheet can be downloaded at:

Ottawa Race Weekend:  Team Reach Canada seeking support
Take your place at the starting line with Reach Canada (now amalgamated with ABLE2) to run, walk or roll in any of the 9 race categories on May 27-28 at the Ottawa Race Weekend (ORW) and help raise money for the Reach Legal Programs. This year’s fundraising goal is $10,000. Please sign up for any of the ORW events or donate to support people with disabilities in your community. To register to participate in the ORW, visit:  Make sure you sign up for the Reach team.  To donate, visit:

National Housing Council Review
The National Housing Council [NHC] has begun its review of the financialization of purpose-built rental housing. As part of its written hearing process, the NHC’s review panel will be accepting written submissions until June 23, 2023. Submissions can be made by mail or e-mail, using an “offline form”.  For more information, visit:

OCDSB 2023 Summer School Programs – Registration open
OCDSB is offering flexible Summer School Programs. Designed for students in grades 6-12 and adult learners, these courses (in-person & virtual) offer a range of options for credit recovery, upgrades, and e-learning.To register, visit:  Registration is also open for French or Spanish Summer Camp for students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8 in any school board. Learn more and register at:

Connecting Ottawa multi-lingual rack cards available
Connecting Ottawa has a supply of information cards that can be shared with clients that identify local support organizations in the areas of Housing Law, Family Law and Criminal Law.  These cards measure 4 x 9 inches and are available in English, French, Arabic, Somali, Spanish and Farsi.  Please email if you would like a supply sent to you. Please advise the number of cards you would like in each language.  

Permanent residence for protected persons
There is no deadline for applying for permanent residence after someone is granted refugee status by the Immigration and Refugee Board. It does not matter if someone applies six months, one year or five years later. As long as someone wins their claim and is a Protected Person, they have the right to apply for permanent residence.  Please note that permanent resident applications as a Protected Person for those who win their refugee claim must now be submitted online through the IRCC permanent residence portal. They can no longer be submitted on paper.

Deadlines for appealing negative refugee decisions
If an individual is denied refugee status, they have only 15 days to submit their Notice of Appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board. If an individual’s refugee appeal is denied, they similarly have only 15 days to submit their Notice to the Federal Court to seek a
judicial review of the negative appeal decision. When encountering clients who mention a recent refugee claim denial, it is important to determine when they received the denial and assist them to obtain legal help right away so that they do not miss their filing deadline.

Connect with us …
Connecting Ottawa is available to support front-line workers in Ottawa to provide appropriate legal information and referrals to clients with  communication barriers as a result of language or sensory disability. If you have a question or require a consultation, please send it to info@connectingottawa.comalong with an Intake Form:  This will ensure the most efficient response to your request.  As a reminder, we do not provide direct legal services to individuals