It has come down to this!
Kyle Lydell Canty, 30, crossed into B.C.’s Lower Mainland in early September of 2015, telling border agents that he was here to visit and take photographs, but once in Vancouver decided he would apply to remain as a refugee.
“I’m in fear of my life because I’m black,” he told IRB member Ron Yamauchi in a hearing on October 23rd in Vancouver. “This is a well-founded fear.”
Canty argues that black people are “being exterminated at an alarming rate” in the U.S. and included examples such as the shooting of Michael Brown in Missouri and the death of Eric Garner in New York City at the hands of police.
Canty represented himself at the hearing, which he applied to have made public, and was commended by Yamauchi at its conclusion, who said Canty had put together a “well prepared case … and argued it as well as it could be.”
Canty submitted a significant evidence package to the IRB including videos, media reports and the UNHCR’s handbook on determining refugee status.
In order for someone to be called a refugee in Canada, they must prove they are in danger in their home country, “that you’re someone with a well-founded fear of persecution in your country, based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.” said Melissa Anderson. who speaks for the IRB.
Born in New York, Canty has lived in six different states before arriving in Canada, a country he says he’s never been to before.