The Syrian refugee crisis has been a crisis for the last few years and we, as a settlement sector have been advocating to the government for action. This week, Canada, as a nation has finally acknowledged the crisis. ISANS is working with business, partners, colleagues, provincial and municipal governments to pressure the federal government to take action.
* Government must act immediately to bring refugees from the Syrian crisis to Canada
* Community can prepare to help settle refugees
ISANS supports partner organizations that have called for immediate action on the following:
- Bring 10,000 government-assisted Syrians to Canada immediately, funded by the government and additional to Canada’s regular resettlement numbers (current Syrian announcements are within existing commitments so the numbers simply displace other refugees). Refugees should be selected solely based on need.
- Implement flexible measures (such as Temporary Resident Permits) for Syrians with family in Canada.
- Ensure that private sponsorship of refugees is “additional” to government assisted refugees – NOT either or. We urge faith communities and Canadians to sponsor a refugee regardless of nationality;
- Maintain the priority for resettlement of other refugees (currently Syrian refugee applications are expedited at the expense of processing for other refugees).
Note: Not only Syrians are affected by this crisis, but also refugees from other countries who had escaped to Syria (e.g. Iraqis)
We have done this before, we can do it again:
- In 1999 in a period of 4 months Canada received 5000 Kosovars and placed them in the community, using military expertise and key stakeholders
- In the late 1970s Canada took in 55,000 Vietnamese refugees
What can individuals do now?
- Talk about this situation with everyone you know
- Speak to politicians and political candidates
- Donate to support private sponsorships underway now – designate for private refugee sponsorships)