I want to start by saying thank you to all of the witnesses for all the work you've done. I think the work that's been done in your organizations has set Canada apart in terms of really showing what it means to stand up for LGBTQ rights in a very meaningful way. I think you're going to see cross-partisan support for an ongoing program that can sustain some of the efforts you are looking at.
I want to ask two questions. I've summarized some of the feedback I've heard in testimony to date, and I want to see if you agree with the synthesis of those recommendations. Then I want to ask a very pointed question. I'll put everything out at once, for the sake of time.
What I have so far, in terms of recommendations, is: that IRCC formalize the RRAP into a regular program with long-term funding; that IRCC streamline the application for LGBTQ refugees who apply through the RRAP and limit the processing timeline to no more than 18 months; that IRCC ensure that refugees brought in under the RRAP remain outside of the SAH quotas and that they do not affect nor are affected by the government's other refugee initiatives; that the government commit to defending LGBTQ rights on the world stage and use diplomatic channels to work towards eliminating institutionalized homophobia and transphobia; that IRCC encourage advanced training for the UNHCR and Canadian immigration officials and review intake procedures in order to identify institutionalized discrimination; that IRCC partner with civil society organizations in refugees' home countries and countries of first asylum in order to identify, assess, and process LGBTQ+ refugees; and that IRCC institute sexual orientation and gender identity analysis of its existing procedures and create quantitative evaluation criteria specific to the goals of the rainbow refugee assistance program, including a measure to track the number of LGBTQ+ refugees Canada is accepting each year.
That's what I have to date, and I'll close with a question.
I've heard this, and I just want to get this on the record. In terms of transphobia, some people have said that people will claim asylum in Canada and they will fake their gender identity or persecution on sexuality. I think that's probably not the case, but I'd like to also give you an opportunity to speak to it so that we can put that on the record in this report.
The floor is yours, whoever wants to start.