|Canada||CHURCH LEADERS DEMAND END TO CANADIAN 'HEAD TAX' ON IMMIGRANTS|
Canadian church leaders demanded an end to a federal government 'head tax', saying it imposes heavy financial burdens on refugees and immigrants entering the country.
The 'Right of Landing' fee, established by the government's citizenship and immigration department in 1995, levies a $A1500 charge on every refugee claimant and immigrant.
"This tax establishes a 'welcome debt' for refugee and immigrant families coming to Canada," said Robert Filart, coordinator of the Toronto Archdiocese's refugee sponsorship program.
Although the landing fee allows for government loans and repayment plans, Filart said this does little to ease a struggling family's integration into Canadian society.