February 28th, 2013

Government must help reunite Canadians with relatives in Syria

New Democrats are calling on the government to expedite family reunification for Syrian-Canadians and their relatives in Syria.

“Over 70,000 civilians have been killed, hundreds of thousands have been displaced, and the refugee camps are overflowing,” said New Democrat Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar. “No Canadian would want their loved ones in those conditions. It’s shameful that the Conservatives refuse to even discuss family reunification options for Syrian-Canadians.”

Canada has previously facilitated immigration for refugees in humanitarian crises, including during the Lebanese civil war, following the tsunami in South-East Asia, and more recently following crises in Iraq, the Philippines, and Haiti. Despite repeated requests from the Syrian Canadian Council, and, the devastating state of the country, Jason Kenney has refused to provide a similar response in this case. In fact, the Minister has even refused to meet and consider their humanitarian request.

“This government and this Minister must recognize their moral responsibility to our fellow Canadians,” said Deputy Citizenship and Immigration Critic Sadia Groguhé. “I call on Minister Kenney to meet with representatives of Canada’s Syrian community and help save their loved ones from the violence in Syria.”