While countries around the world step up their efforts towards the growing Syrian refugee crisis, it is clear that the Harper Conservatives are not doing enough. PSAC calls on the government to do the right thing and respond immediately and adequately to the crisis and ensure that the necessary resources are in place.
Cuts to the refugee system
The Harper Conservatives’ cuts to the Immigration and Refugee Board and changes to laws have caused delays and made it more difficult for refugees to come to Canada and get the support they need once they arrive.
Our members, the front line public service workers, are dedicated and care deeply for the plight of refugees but have been working under very difficult circumstances because of the lack of resources.
PSAC is calling on the government to:
- Bring in a minimum of 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year. This should be in addition to Canada’s regular resettlement numbers.
- Remove barriers to private sponsorship of refugees, both at the front end, when processing claims, and in settling them once they have arrived in Canada. This should include restoring health care for refugee claimants.
- Invest resources into the system and increase staffing so that Canada can respond appropriately to the influx of new refugees.
- Restore and improve refugees’ ability to access a fair, non-discriminatory and reasonable refugee process, which was undermined by the Harper Conservatives’ legislative changes.
Speeding up the process
If the government makes a commitment to bring in more refugees from Syria, PSAC representatives will sit down with federal departments to discuss ways to speed up the process. This can be done by setting up a special project dedicated solely to processing the applications of Syrian refugees.
How you can help
PSAC supports the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) special fund with the Canadian Council for Refugees to help support the settlement of Syrian refugees in Canada.
PSAC also encourages our locals and members to get involved by making donations, being a part of a private sponsorship, or volunteering your time with a community group that supports refugees.