[PSRList] [CCRLIST] article: Quiet changes to Syrian private sponsorship program create confusion

Neil Conway conway.nj at gmail.com
Fri Mar 25 20:56:09 EDT 2016


Find the news greatly disappointing. While I am hopeful Minister McCallum will try to streamline processing these applications, I am not expecting much in the short term.
One suggestion I offer is to get each member of your sponsoring groups to reach out to your Member  of Parliament and make your views known laud and clear.
They need to hear from us that we are not happy with their current stance.

Hope this helps

Neil Conway

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 25, 2016, at 5:44 PM, sylvain tibo <sylvaintibo at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Bonjour listmate,
> 
> What shall we think about this news?
> 
> Message envoyé depuis un téléphone intelligent.
> 
> ---------- Message transféré ----------
> De : "Janet Dench" <jdench at ccrweb.ca>
> Date : 2016-03-24 21:29
> Objet : [CCRLIST] article: Quiet changes to Syrian private sponsorship program create confusion
> À : <CCRLIST at yorku.ca>
> Cc : 
> 
> CTV
> Quiet changes to Syrian private sponsorship program create confusion
> Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press
> Published Thursday, March 24, 2016 3:23PM EDT
> Last Updated Thursday, March 24, 2016 5:36PM EDT
> 
> OTTAWA - Hundreds of Canadians who've come together to sponsor Syrian refugees are being told it could be next year before their new charges arrive, after a series of changes to the Liberals' resettlement program.
> 
> The original goal of bringing in 25,000 refugees has been met, but the next step is unclear.
> 
> Caps on applications this year, a decrease in staff handling those and the return of a controversial travel-loan program are all prompting questions about what is going on with a program that once was priority one for the Liberal government.
> 
> "I think everybody assumed that the government was really interested in doing something serious about Syrian refugees and the 25,000 was just the start of it," said former Toronto mayor John Sewell, who is part of a network of private sponsors which plans to hold an emergency meeting next week on the situation.
> 
> "It's as though the government has just said, oh well, there's the promise, it's all over."
> 
> The changes essentially reverse much of what the previous Conservative government and then the Liberals did to respond to a surge in demand last fall for Canada to bring in more Syrians.
> 
> Staffing increases in the central processing office in Winnipeg and at missions overseas was the first step taken by the Tories and increased further when the Liberals took office, but they have now been cut back.
> 
> Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was pressed on the issue Thursday but wouldn't directly address the cuts.
> 
> "We continue to be engaged with the issue of Syrian refugees, making it a priority to continue to show that Canada is a strong and welcoming country," he said.
> 
> In the Toronto area alone, upwards of 600 groups have spent months raising money, finding apartments and gathering supplies.
> 
> Some are being told it will be more than eight months before the family they are sponsoring arrives, while others hear that if they've not yet been matched with a family it's unlikely they'll see anyone before 2017.
> 
> "There is so much conflicting information floating around," said Allison Murray, who has been working with a group of Toronto residents since the fall to put together the funds to sponsor a family.
> 
> "Our group is trying to be patient."
> 
> It's never been clear exactly how many privately sponsored Syrians would be accepted. There had been no caps on applications under the Conservatives or in the early part of the Liberal program.
> 
> As of March 14, there were 6,641 private cases in the inventory. Groups have been notified a cap will be placed on the number of applications accepted - as has been the custom for other refugee populations in recent years - but aren't sure yet what it is.
> 
> Immigration Minister John McCallum said he is aware the enthusiasm to support Syrians won't last forever
> 
> "We want to create the conditions where Canadians are able and as quickly as possible to sponsor those refugees," he said.
> 
> Arrivals of refugees have slowed considerably since the government stopped running its own flights.
> 
> Between Feb. 27 and March 8, 600 new government-assisted refugees and 433 privately sponsored arrived. In the 12 days after, only nine government-assisted refugees and 16 privately sponsored arrived. Only one person who is part of a program that blends the two streams arrived in that time.
> 
> While the government is still covering the flight costs for government-assisted refugees, they've stopped doing so for privately sponsored ones who've yet to be interviewed. They will now either be forced to take out a government loan or have their sponsors pay the fare.
> 
> The loan program was slammed in a government evaluation for placing an unfair burden on new arrivals. McCallum had promised it was under review.
> 
> http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/quiet-changes-to-syrian-private-sponsorship-program-create-confusion-1.2831437
> 
> -- 
> Janet Dench
> Proud to protect refugees | Fière de protéger les réfugiés
> Canadian Council for Refugees
> Conseil canadien pour les réfugiés
> 6839 Drolet #301
> Montréal, Québec, H2S 2T1
> 514-277-7223 (x 2)
> jdench at ccrweb.ca
> http://ccrweb.ca
> 
> 
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