December 31st, 2015

NDP statement on the deadline for accepting syrian refugees

Statement by NDP Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Jenny Kwan on the New Year’s deadline for accepting Syrian refugees

“No issue has underscored Canada’s sense of generosity and compassion than our collective response to the ongoing refugee crisis in Syria.

During the recent election Liberals promised to welcome 25,000 government sponsored Syrian refuges before the New Year.

Less than a month after that election, the new Liberal Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister, John McCallum, abandoned this promise. Instead the 25,000 government sponsored Syrian refugees would now be made up of both government and privately sponsored refugees.

A week after that, Minister McCallum confirmed he would not be able to meet the Liberal’s promised December 31st deadline. Instead he now promised to bring 10,000 Syrian refugees by New Year - 8,000 privately sponsored and 2,000 government sponsored.

Yet according to the government’s own numbers, they have fallen far short of their target of bringing 10,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by year's end. And of those refugees, only a few dozen are actually government sponsored.

Not only did this Minister irrefutably fail to live up to the promise Liberals made to Canadians in the last election but he even failed to meet his own lowered expectations.

In the last election Canadians voted for change to help rebuild the damage done to our international reputation. I hope for the sake of that reputation this kind of mishandling does not become a pattern.

Canadians and Syrian refugees deserve better.”