Canadian Council for Refugees
24 October 2017
The Canadian Council for Refugees calls on government to increase refugee levels
As the federal government prepares to announce future immigration levels, the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) calls on the government to increase numbers for all refugee categories, within the context of an overall increase in the immigration levels.
“As Canadians we have an opportunity to offer protection to more people who are in desperate need – people who are fleeing for their lives,” said Loly Rico, President. “Opening our doors to more refugees is not only the right thing to do because it saves lives, it is also good for Canada as refugees contribute in so many ways to our country.”
The CCR is asking the Government of Canada to:
- Increase Government-Assisted Refugee numbers to 20,000 per year;
- Ensure the numbers for privately sponsored refugees are sufficient to clear the backlog of cases by the end of 2018;
- Ensure the levels for accepted refugee claimants are high enough, in light of increased numbers of claimants, so that they quickly receive permanent residence and be reunited with family.
The CCR recommends that the overall annual immigration levels be at least 1% of the population (i.e. at least 360,000).
Across the country, countless Canadians, including many former refugees, are enthusiastic about welcoming refugees. In 2017, refugees make up only 13% of total immigration to Canada. As a wealthy country, recognized as a leader globally on refugee responses, we can easily do more.
Recent polling commissioned by the CCR shows that the majority of Canadians recognize refugees as people in real hardship, who are seeking peace, and say that the priority should be given to accepting refugees who have urgent need of protection from violence.
According to the poll, most Canadians agree that even if there are some costs in the near term, in the long term welcoming refugees will prove good for the economy.
Research shows that, with time, refugees have the same levels of economic success as other Canadians, in terms of household income and home ownership.
People who come as refugees also contribute in many different ways to communities across Canada, as caregivers, as volunteers, as artists, as community leaders, as elected officials and more. These social and cultural contributions add to the economic benefits.