Canadian Council for Refugees E-Chronicle Vol. 10 #4, 1 October 2015

Vol. 10 no. 4, 1 October 2015

In this issue:

  1. Open the door to Syrian refugees: What you can do

Open the door to Syrian refugeesWith the crisis facing Syrian refugees reaching peak levels, the CCR welcomed important steps by the federal government to remove barriers to the resettlement of Syrian refugees and to speed up their arrival. The measures announced by the federal government respond to several of the recommendations made by the CCR.
Canada can do more: We continue to call the government not to rely only on private sponsors to resettle Syrians but to take responsibility, on behalf of all Canadians, for a significant and urgent response to the Syrian refugee crisis and:

  • Increase in the number of government-assisted refugees to resettle 10,000 Syrians, funded by the government and brought to Canada by the end of 2015.
  • Respond to Syrians with family in Canada with flexible measures (such as Temporary Resident Permits), and include those still in Syria, who cannot be sponsored as refugees.
  • Allow privately-sponsored refugees access to full Interim Federal Health coverage. Contrary to recent statements by the Prime Minister, privately sponsored refugees suffered – and continue to suffer – reductions in health care coverage as a result of the cuts imposed by the government in 2012.
As Canadians, we can take steps to make these recommendations a reality, and more. Here’s what you can do:
  1. Add your endorsement to the Syrian refugee recommendations: Key Canadian organizations have developed recommendations for action on Syrian refugees: Other organizations (or individuals) are invited to add their endorsement here
  1. Participate in a local action to advocate for a strong Canadian response: Check these event listings, and join efforts to reunite Syrian refugee families in the week of 12 October
  1. Ask candidates in the federal elections to support refugee resettlement: Send a letter to candidates, attend an all-candidates meeting or ask if they knock on your door. Do they support these recommendations?
  1. Donate: Make a donation to the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) or to a local organization that serves refugees.
  1. Volunteer at a local organization that serves refugees, like these ones.
  1. Get involved with a local refugee sponsorship group. 
  2. Find out more about refugee sponsorship through the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP)
  3. Spread the word: Open doors to refugees online too

For more information, see:

  1. Family reunification must be top priority

Call for Express Entry family reunificationCall on the Canadian government to make it easier for Syrian refugees with family in Canada to be reunited.
Issuing Temporary Residence Permits (TRPs) to Syrians with family in Canada would allow more Syrian refugees to get to Canada quickly, while providing for a more seamless integration and connection to their new surroundings. They could then go through the process of becoming a permanent resident once in Canada.
Even temporary visa applicants will go through security screening. Canada does security screenings for refugee claimants in time for their refugee hearing which may come 45 days after the claim is made. There is no reason that the same timeframe could not be met for applicants for TRPs.
The CCR and other advocates have long been urging the federal government to fix unnecessary delays in the family reunification program.
Take action from 13-16 October 2015 to make family reunification a top immigration priority. Join us in calling for Express Entry family reunification for children waiting to be reunited with parents in Canada.
For more information, see:
Open the door to Syrian refugees and Express Entry Family Reunification

  1. Priorities for federal election candidates

Federal election priorities 2015Refugees and newcomers are in the spotlight this election and it's time to put humanitarian values back on Canada's agenda.
Speaking with election candidates or attending an election townhall meeting?
Share these priorities for refugees and newcomers to Canada. It is time to re-orient policies in favour of valuing families, protecting refugees and respecting the rights and contributions of all newcomers.

For more information, see:

  1. Join us at the CCR Fall Consultation, Courage, Contributions, Resilience in Hamilton, 26-28 November 2015

Courage, Contributions, ResilienceWith views from all Canadian provinces and with participants in fields as diverse as mental health services and the law, this conference offers opportunities for professional development, networking and strategy.
Join us to explore questions affecting refugee protection and newcomer settlement at the CCR Fall Consultation on the theme of Courage, Contributions, Resilience. All are welcome to participate! Workshop topics include:

  • A session with Mario Dion, Chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB)
  • Access to mental health services
  • Training on permanent residence and citizenship issues
  • The global refugee crisis and Canada’s response
  • Social innovation projects
  • Roles of diaspora in supporting refugee resettlement

… and many more
Register before 6 November to take advantage of reduced fees!
Information about the Consultation and online registration are available at:

...and there's never been a better time to become a CCR member

Coming to the CCR Consultation in Hamilton? There is no better time to apply for membership as a Member (for groups and organizations) or as an Associate Member (for unaffiliated individuals).
Submit a complete membership application and your Consultation registration by 6 November 2015 to receive member-priced Consultation registration rates and CCR membership for 2016. Click here for more details.  

  1. New from the CCR: Tool to assess cases of possible human trafficking

The CCR is developing a human trafficking assessment tool to help guide first-contact service providers across Canada in identifying and responding to situations of human trafficking.

Look for this new resource in mid-October 2015 at:

Upcoming Meetings

Youth Action Gathering, 2-4 October 2015, Vancouver

CCR Fall Consultation, 26-28 November 2015, Hamilton

CCR Spring Consultation, 2-4 June 2016, Saskatoon

CCR Fall Consultation 2016, Montreal


New CCR Resources

Human trafficking assessment tool (coming mid-October 2015)