Gajic v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2003 FCT 108 (CanLII)
Neutral citation: 2003 FCT 108
Ottawa, Ontario, this 31st day of January, 2003
PRESENT: THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE JOHN A. O'KEEFE
- and -
THE MINISTER OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
 This is an application for judicial review of the decision of the Convention Refugee Determination Division ("CRDD") of the Immigration and Refugee Board, dated March 1, 2000, wherein the applicant was found not to be a Convention refugee.
 The applicant is a citizen of Serbia and is a minor claimant. The applicant claims to have a well-founded fear of persecution in Serbia because of her mixed ethnicity, having a Romanian mother and a Serbian father. Her designated representative for the hearing was her aunt.
 The applicant was born in Vladimirovac, in the province of Vojvodina, Yugoslavia. Vojvodina is a part of Yugoslavia which has a population that includes people of Romanian ethnic background and it borders with Romania.
 The applicant came to Canada on May 3, 1999 and on May 5, 1999, made known her intention to seek Convention refugee status.
 The applicant executed her Personal Information Form ("PIF") on July 20, 1999.
 The applicant's hearing before the CRDD was held on February 15, 2000 and its decision was dated March 1, 2000.
Relevant Statutory Provisions
 The relevant section of the Immigration Act, R.S.C. 1985, C. I-2, states:
|2(1)"Convention refugee" means any person who (a) by reason of a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, (i) is outside the country of the person's nationality and is unable or, by reason of that fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country, or||2(1) ? réfugié au sens de la Convention ? Toute personne: a) qui, craignant avec raison d'?tre persécutée du fait de sa race, de sa religion, de sa nationalité, de son appartenance ? un groupe social ou de ses opinions politiques: (i) soit se trouve hors du pays dont elle a la nationalité et ne peut ou, du fait de cette crainte, ne veut se réclamer de la protection de ce pays,|
|(ii) not having a country of nationality, is outside the country of the person's former habitual residence and is unable or, by reason of that fear, is unwilling to return to that country, and (b) has not ceased to be a Convention refugee by virtue of subsection (2), but does not include any person to whom the Convention does not apply pursuant to section E or F of Article 1 thereof, which sections are set out in the schedule to this Act;||(ii) soit, si elle n'a pas de nationalité et se trouve hors du pays dans lequel elle avait sa résidence habituelle, ne peut ou, en raison de cette crainte, ne veut y retourner; b) qui n'a pas perdu son statut de réfugié au sens de la Convention en application du paragraphe (2). Sont exclues de la présente définition les personnes soustraites ? l'application de la Convention par les sections E ou F de l'article premier de celle-ci dont le texte est reproduit ? l'annexe de la présente loi.|
Analysis and Decision
 I will first discuss the quality of the interpretation. A review of the transcript shows only a few instances where the interpreter asked to have something repeated. The applicant's aunt, who was designated representative at the hearing, stated that she was fluent in both the Serbian and English languages and in paragraph 9 of her affidavit, listed 21 examples of incorrect interpretation. I have reviewed each of the examples and I am of the view that even if there was misinterpretation, it did not have any effect on the outcome of the case. The applicant's aunt stated that the question, "When your sister calls you, does she call from her shop or home?" was translated as "If your sister were to call you, would she call you . . .?". The applicant, in paragraph 18 of her affidavit stated:
The question in English from the panel was whether when my sister called me, did she call me from home. The translation was "If your sister were to call you, where would she call you from?"There is a different version by the applicant and the aunt of the interpretation of this question.
 Even if I am in error that the interpreter properly interpreted the testimony and that if there were any errors, the errors were not material to the outcome of the case, there is one more reason that this ground should not be allowed. The issue of improper interpretation was not raised as an objection at the hearing before the tribunal and consequently, in this case, cannot be raised now to defeat the tribunal's determination. This point was clearly stated in Mohammadian v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) 2001 FCA 191 (CanLII),  4 F.C. 85 (F.C.A.) at paragraph 19:
As I have indicated, in light of his experience at the very first sitting of the Refugee Division the appellant appears to have been well aware of his right to the assistance of a qualified interpreter. When his conduct during the whole of the third sitting and for some time afterward is weighed with his undoubted knowledge of his right, it is difficult to construe that conduct as other than a clear indication that the quality of interpretation was satisfactory to him during the hearing itself. In my view, therefore, Pelletier J. did not err in determining that the appellant had waived his right under section 14 of the Charter by failing to object to the quality of the interpretation at the first opportunity during the hearing into his claim for refugee status.
 The second complaint about the interpreter was that the interpreter was allegedly Croatian. Again, this was not raised before the tribunal and following the same reasoning as in paragraph 11 of this decision cannot be raised now to defeat the tribunal's decision.
 The applicant also stated that the Board committed an error of law by stating that the monitors and organizations " . . .report on all incidents . . .". I agree that there is no evidence to support this statement but I do not believe that this statement in any way effected the decision. This was not a situation where the Board used its conclusion on this point to depreciate the weight to be given to the applicant's actual testimony. This was not central to its decision as the decision was based on a lack of evidence to establish that the applicant was a Convention refugee.
 The applicant submitted that the Board missed some of the evidence. In my review of the decision and the evidence, I have not been persuaded that this is the case. The Board directed its mind to all of the evidence necessary to reach its decision.
 Disclosure of witness nameI agree with the applicant that the practice note requires an order however, the Board's ruling was not that the name could not be disclosed but that counsel could get evidence as she wished in a non-leading fashion.
 Climate in hearing was confusingI do not agree, after reading the transcript of the hearing, that the climate at the hearing was confusing.
 I am of the opinion that the applicant was not deprived of her rights to natural justice nor of her right to a fair hearing. I am of the further opinion that the Board's conduct did not give rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias.
 The application for judicial review is therefore dismissed.
 The applicant proposed the following questions for certification as serious questions of general importance:1. Does the CRDD Tribunal breach the requirements of fairness and natural justice when it does not comply with its own procedural guidelines for hearing cases involving minor claimants? 2. Does the CRDD Tribunal breach the requirements of fairness and natural justice when it does not permit evidence to be led in the case of a minor claimant? 3. Is there any requirement which would obligate the claimant at a CRDD hearing to advise the RHO prior to the hearing: (1) the names of persons about whose persecution the claimant is aware and relies on as persons similarly situated and; (2) provide a summary of their evidence?
 I have considered the serious questions of general importance proposed for certification by the applicant and I am not prepared to certify these questions.
 IT IS ORDERED that the application for judicial review is dismissed."John A. O'Keefe" J.F.C.C. Ottawa, Ontario January 31, 2003
- and -THE MINISTER OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION PLACE OF HEARING: Toronto, Ontario DATE OF HEARING: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 REASONS FOR ORDER AND ORDER OF O'KEEFE J. DATED: Friday, January 31, 2003
APPEARANCES:Milena Protich FOR APPLICANT Jeremiah Eastman FOR RESPONDENT
SOLICITORS OF RECORD:Giffen Lee Suite 500, Commerce House 50 Queen Street Kitchener, Ontario N2H 6M3 FOR APPLICANT Department of Justice Suite 3400, Box 36 130 King Street West Toronto, Ontario M5X 1K6 FOR RESPONDENT