Mikhno arose out of an application for judicial review of the negative PRRA decision. The case is not recent but it addresses an essential element of a successful PRRA application of a failed refugee claimant. Justice O’Keefe enunciates that a PRRA application has to present evidence that addresses the negative credibility findings of the RPD decision.
The applicant came to Canada from Ukraine in 2000 and claimed asylum based on Jewish nationality and religion. The RPD found that the applicant was not credible, did not establish his Jewish background or that he was perceived to be Jewish. The applicant submitted a PRRA based on risks to Jewish persons in Ukraine. In support of his application, he submitted:
– general documentary evidence on anti-Semitism in Ukraine
– an affidavit from a childhood friend confirming his Jewish background
– a letter from his ex-wife confirming that anti-Semitic aggressors were still after him and had recently threatened her
The PRRA Decision
The PRRA officer granted little probative value to the evidence above. She noted that the applicant failed to demonstrate that he was Jewish and address the negative credibility finding that was made by the RPD with respect to his identity. The PRRA officer noted that even if the applicant succeeded in proving his identity, the sources that the applicant submitted do not indicate that Jewish persons are targeted in Ukraine.
Analysis and Decision
Justice O’Keefe concluded that the PRRA officer’s decision was reasonable. The Court states that a PRRA application is an assessment of the effect that new evidence may have had on the Board decision in question. As such factual and credibility conclusions are not to be revisited and reargued. A standing Board decision will act as a starting point from which an applicant may submit evidence of new developments. Thus, the applicant first and foremost has to make sure to provide new evidence to address the negative findings by the Board.
In this case the PRRA officer determined and the Court agreed that the new evidence did not address the Board’s concerns. Justice O’Keefe addressed the evidence as follows:
– it was reasonable for the PRRA officer to find that the affidavit from the applicant’s friend only reiterates the applicant’s assertions and does not provide new information; the friend is not an objective and uninterested source
– it was reasonable for the PRRA officer to find that the letter from his ex-wife failed to address the negative findings of the Board as well
– it was reasonable for the PRRA officer to conclude that the documentary evidence does not demonstrate a personalized risk to the applicant and that it was not materially different from the evidence submitted before the Board