Canada Refugees

Tracing a Million Immigration Stories at Pier 21 -- Including My Own

Elisa Birnbaum | Posted 06.26.2015 | Canada Living
Elisa Birnbaum

Yet, it's the luxury liner that brought them here, the beautiful Aquitania, that uniquely captures my attention. Like my family, the ship was tired, battle-weary, but she pushed ahead nonetheless, navigating her way through rough seas, a turbulent winter and plenty of unknowns to reach the final destination. As a proud Canadian and daughter, I'm terribly glad she did.

My Refugee Journey Involves Gunshots, Homelessness and Hope

Patrick Bizindavyi | Posted 06.25.2015 | Canada Impact
Patrick Bizindavyi

Over the following months in 2001, the violence continued in Burundi between the rebels and the government. My passion for my work diminished. I no longer felt like doing anything. I even stopped watching the news on TV, or even listening to it on my own radio station. Everything looked hopeless. In 2002, some Canadian journalists visited Burundi. If I were going to ask for help, it was now or never. Six months later, they invited me to visit Canada, and I jumped on the opportunity. I arrived in Canada with $60 in my pocket -- my mother's life savings.

The Number of Refugees in the World Today Is an Unacceptable Catastrophe

Rosemary McCarney | Posted 06.18.2015 | Canada Impact
Rosemary McCarney

This Saturday, June 20, is the UN World Refugee Day. It's a day set aside every year to recognize the plight of refugees and acknowledge the efforts of those who assist them, often in the face of life-threatening obstacles. We need to recognize realities but not despair. We need to focus the global mind on our collective responsibility. We need to roll up our sleeves and help those who are so deserving of our assistance while urging others to double and triple their efforts to end the underlying conditions that have created this unacceptable human catastrophe.

Educating Young Refugees Is a Path to Sustainable International Development

Development Unplugged | Posted 06.17.2015 | Canada Impact
Development Unplugged

On World Refugee Day 2015 (June 20), events around the world recognize the more than 50 million people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes. It is a day to reflect on the strength and resilience of the millions who have fled their countries and we acknowledge the efforts of individuals and groups who are devoted to supporting refugee populations.

Do the People of Sudan's Nuba Mountains Not Matter?

Alex Neve | Posted 05.25.2015 | Canada Impact
Alex Neve

For four years, the Sudanese military has waged a terrifying war against its own people, in the besieged state of South Kordofan. As the fourth anniversary of this disgraceful human rights crisis approaches next month; it is long past time for the world to finally do something about it.

Are Tamil Restaurant Workers Stuck in the Back of the Kitchen?

TamilCulture | Posted 06.26.2015 | Canada Living
TamilCulture

I was recently directed to an article that discussed the phenomenon of visible minorities working in Toronto restaurant kitchens. Interestingly, the Sri Lankan Tamil community was cited as staffing almost a third of these kitchens. However, few visible minorities, including Tamils, have found success in the "front of the house" as restaurateurs or culinary chefs.

The Mediterranean Has Become a Morgue for Migrants. Canada Must Help

Alex Neve | Posted 06.21.2015 | Canada Impact
Alex Neve

The number of deaths have been mounting over the years. The International Organization of Migration estimates that somewhere in the range of 20,000 women, men and children have drowned in the Mediterranean between 2000 and 2014, while trying to reach safety and new lives in Europe. Canada can and should be central to international efforts to address the underlying crises in Syria, Eritrea and other countries, propelling the displacement that leads to the Mediterranean. This is not a crisis that Canada should simply observe and lament.

Why Isn't Canada Doing More to Help Lebanon Deal With the Syrian Refugee Crisis?

Hélène Laverdière | Posted 05.10.2015 | Canada Politics
Hélène Laverdière

The Syrian conflict has passed two sobering milestones. The civil war -- now entering its fourth year -- has now claimed more than 200,000 lives and forced more than three million people to flee the country. The Canadian government can and should be playing a more direct role in addressing the refugee crisis in Lebanon by immediately increasing our humanitarian assistance.

Canada's Millionaire Immigrants Earn Less Than Refugees

Ian Young | Posted 05.02.2015 | Canada British Columbia
Ian Young

Logic would dictate that big-earning millionaires continue to earn big after settling in Canada. They might take a pause from their business activities while they settle in to their new country, but it's only a matter of time before the money, and the trickle-down benefits, start flowing, right? Not so.

A Long, Burdensome Road for Syrian Refugees and Their Canadian Sponsors

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 03.31.2015 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Militias set fire to homes with families still inside. From her safe refuge here in Canada, Dahlia heard the horrific reports and knew she had to get her family out of Syria. But to sponsor them as refugees in Canada would take an agonizing 18 months of bureaucracy and cost tens of thousands of dollars. Dahlia's ordeal raises the question, Are the demands of sponsorship too great for Canadians to bear?

Doctor: New Health Program Still Failing Canadian Refugees

CP | Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press | Posted 03.28.2015 | Canada Politics

OTTAWA - The Conservative government is continuing to violate a Federal Court ruling that affirmed the right of refugee claimants in Canada to access ...

Canada Must Do More To Help Syrians Abroad

Dana Wagner | Posted 02.04.2015 | Canada Politics
Dana Wagner

Despite government statements that Canada has done "more than any of our allies," our allies have introduced smart humanitarian policies that have moved far more Syrians abroad than anything Ottawa has yet introduced. Canada can look to them - Germany, Sweden, Norway, Brazil and more - for inspiration.

Canada Needs a Plan to Address Violence Against Immigrant and Refugee Women

University of Toronto News | Posted 01.17.2015 | Canada Politics
University of Toronto News

The report calls for a national plan to address violence against immigrant and refugee women and immigration policies that better support immigrants in precarious circumstances. It calls on the federal government to abolish the two-year conditional status for sponsored spouses, reinstate access to the Interim Federal Health program to all refugee claimants and uphold the privacy of all people who have access to social and health services.

An Open Letter From Some Muslims Who Love Canada and Human Rights

Shahla Khan Salter | Posted 12.21.2014 | Canada Politics
Shahla Khan Salter

On Tuesday, October 7 the Harper government voted for military action against ISIS/ISIL notwithstanding all opposition parties opposed it. We are concerned that Canada may become further targeted by extremists and that Canadians, including members of our armed forces and our police, may be placed in greater danger as a result of its participation in the war.

Canada Should Follow Sweden's Lead on the Syrian Refugee Issue

Dana Wagner | Posted 12.10.2014 | Canada Politics
Dana Wagner

Outside the neighbourhood, there is one country leading the response. It is not Canada, despite statements from our ministers that the Canadian refugee response constitutes "more than any of our allies have done." This is deliberately misleading and a slight to what our allies are actually doing. Greater leadership can be found in a country with a quarter of Canada's population.

Ottawa Says Rushed Refugee Health Care Rehaul Would Create Chaos

CP | Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press | Posted 12.01.2014 | Canada Politics

OTTAWA - The health care system serving thousands of refugee claimants will be thrown into chaos next month if there's a rush to create a new program,...

Immigration Detainees Held In Inadequate Conditions: Red Cross

CP | Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press | Posted 11.25.2014 | Canada Politics

OTTAWA - A confidential Red Cross investigation found numerous shortcomings at Canadian facilities for immigrant detainees including triple-bunked cel...

You Might Think Canada Is Doing its Best to Help Refugees, But You'd Be Wrong

Joe Gunn | Posted 11.08.2014 | Canada Politics
Joe Gunn

There are more than 50 million refugees around the world. Surveys suggest that most Canadians believe we, and our government, are doing our best to help them. But a recent study of people working to resettle refugees suggests that these Canadians would be deceived. Partnership between the federal government and refugee sponsoring organizations is essential to this program's success. Commitment to this partnership, however, must be based on respect for the volunteers that put their own time and money on offer to better assist refugee resettlement.

'We're Very Often In The Business Of Tearing Families Apart'

CP | Benjamin Shingler, The Canadian Press | Posted 10.31.2014 | Canada Politics

MONTREAL - For the past month, Sheila Sedinger woke up every morning fraught with worry over the prospect of being deported to Mexico without her two ...

The World's 51-Million Refugees Are Living in Limbo

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 10.29.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Clemantine Wamariya went years without taking a shower. Living with the filth and stench was still preferable to risking rape in a refugee camp bathroom. It would be six more years before she again had a home not constructed out of blue and white United Nations tarps, and several more years before she became a Yale University grad and activist for displaced peoples. Wamariya's incredible success story is a testament to what refugees can achieve when every day is not just a fight for survival.

Canadian Dynamo Emerges from Refugee Camp Childhood

Joan Kelley Weisshaar Walker | Posted 10.28.2014 | Canada Impact
Joan Kelley Weisshaar Walker

Jennifer Moonfoxy (right) with the author in Canada. Canada is home to people from all over the world, each with a unique story. Many have endure...

Though I Keep Getting Detained, I'll Never Stop Being an Activist

Maikel Nabil Sanad | Posted 10.13.2014 | Canada Impact
Maikel Nabil Sanad

I was sitting on a bench inside the military court that day, accompanied by a military intelligence agent, waiting for my military judge to arrive in the courtroom. It was a spring day, in April 2011, just few months after the revolution started. It was the fifth time I was detained in Egypt because of my activism. It isn't that I can understand the situations of people facing injustice from afar, I can feel their pain, because it's my pain as well.

Ethiopia's "Terrorist" Journalists and Bloggers

Adam Bemma | Posted 10.13.2014 | Canada Impact
Adam Bemma

On April 25 of this year, the Ethiopian government made news by arresting six bloggers and three freelance journalists. It is now over 100 days, and counting, since the six Zone 9 bloggers and the three freelance journalists were thrown into Ethiopian prison cells. The nine writers are facing terrorism-related charges, standing accused of inciting violence through social media.

Syrian Refugees Are a Shock To Lebanon's System

Jenn Gearey | Posted 09.17.2014 | Canada
Jenn Gearey

The enormous influx of Syrian refugees has been difficult for the Lebanese people. Some estimates put the Syrian refugee presence in Lebanon at 50 per cent of the small country's total population. Hala Naufal, an Expert Demographer and professor of Population Studies at the Lebanese University, estimates the Syrian refugee count in Lebanon to now be around two million.

Was South Sudan a Preventable Crisis?

Stephen Cornish | Posted 09.17.2014 | Canada Impact
Stephen Cornish

The actors who built South Sudan knew what they were creating: a country barely emerged from decades of devastating conflict, led by a generation with no access to education or any kind of functioning infrastructure; a completely impoverished petro-state, entirely dependent on oil resources but with no capacity to develop them on its own; and a nation deeply split by ethnic divisions.