Meet Gary

Happy Gary

Gary has an important job. He is a member of the Refugee Board. He decides which refugee claimants need Canada’s protection.

Gary works very hard and he wants to do his job well. He would never want to send a refugee home to danger.

Suspicious Gary

But sending a refugee home to danger is not what worries Gary most. What worries him most is the thought that a liar might trick him. Above all, Gary wants to make sure that a person who is just pretending to be a refugee does not get to stay in Canada.

Gary is often suspicious of the stories that he hears from refugee claimants. Many of his suspicions come from his Six Big Ideas about how the world works.

How To Use This Website

This website does not give legal advice. It does not tell you what to do or what to say at your refugee hearing. If you have legal representation, you should discuss the information on this website with your representative.

This website assumes that you know the basics about how the Canadian refugee claim process works.

Learn more about the refugee claim process


On this website, you will meet more than 50 claimants. Their stories are made up, but they are based on the experiences of many real people who have come through the Canadian refugee system. These claimants’ stories will help to give you two kinds of information.

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Gary’s Six Big Ideas

You will learn about Gary’s Six Big Ideas. How does he see the world? What makes him suspicious and why?

Learn about Gary’s Six Big Ideas

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12 Things That Have Helped

When Gary thinks that a claimant is lying, sometimes nothing will change his mind. But sometimes claimants can help him to understand that they are telling the truth. Here you will learn about twelve things that claimants have said or done that have helped to calm Gary’s suspicions, or that have allowed the Refugee Appeal Division or the Federal Court to overturn his decision.

Learn about 12 Things that have helped

Take Heart

Some Board members are a lot like Gary. Some are only a little like Gary. But many do not think like Gary at all. In fact, the Refugee Board gives protection to most of the claimants who ask for it. This website introduces you to some of the Board’s worst reasoning. You have every reason to hope for the best.

Also, Gary is not based on any past or present Board members named Gary.