#Canada #Asylum #UNHCR #SaudiTeen #SaudiTeenRights; #justinTrudeau;
Toronto, Jan 13 (Canadian-Media): An 18-year-old Saudi teen, Rahaf Mohammed Mutlaq Alqunun, who fled her family in Kuwait before her passport was taken away at the Bangkok airport on Sunday, was given her new home, said Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister yesterday, media reports said.
Alqunun said her father physically abused her and tried to force her into an arranged marriage.
“I’m the girl who ran away to Thailand. I’m now in real danger because the Saudi Embassy is trying to force me to return,” said an English translation of one of her first posts to Twitter. Alqunun also wrote that she was afraid and that her family would kill her if she were returned home.
Rahaf Mohammed Mutlaq Alqunun/Facebook
Justin Trudeau, Canada's Prime Minister had reportedly announced Friday that the federal government had agreed to United Nations High Commissionner for Refugees (UNHCR)'s request to allow Alqunun to settle in Canada.
“That is something that we are pleased to do because Canada is a country that understands how important it is to stand up for human rights, to stand up for women’s rights around the world,” Trudeau said.
The world’s attention had been captured by Alqunun’s plight, said UNHCR, and provided a glimpse into the situation of refugees worldwide.
Although it was reportedly feared that Canada's humanitarian move would heighten tensions between Canada and Saudi Arabia, but Trudeau was undaunted by the negative results his move could bring, repeating that Canada stands up for human rights regardless of diplomatic consequences.
“This is part of a long tradition of Canada engaging constructively and positively in the world and working with our partners, allies and with the United Nations,” he said.
Reporting by Asha Bajaj
#Immigrants, #Canada, #CanadaImmigrants; #permanentresidents
Toronto, Jan 11 (IBNS): The Canadian Parliament is planning to add more than one million new permanent residents in the next three years, media reports said on Friday.
The figure stands for nearly one per cent of the country's population each year.
"Canada welcomed more than 286,000 permanent residents in 2017 and projects that number could reach 350,000 this year," reported CNN.
Ahmed Hussen, Canada's minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) said CNN: "Thanks in great part to the newcomers we have welcomed throughout our history, Canada has developed into the strong and vibrant country we all enjoy."
The minister further said that the move will help offset Canada's ageing population and declining birth rate while growing its labor force.
Canada is taking the stance at a time when several other Western nations, including the United States, have been adopting restrictive immigration policies in recent times.
Toronto, Aug 9 (Canadian Media): The City of Toronto has relocated all refugee/asylum claimants housed temporarily in the Centennial College and Humber College dormitories to hotels in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and into permanent housing. media reports said.
"The City of Toronto has worked diligently and compassionately to accommodate the ongoing arrival of refugee and asylum seekers," said Mayor John Tory. "With the partnership of other levels of government and surrounding municipalities, we have been able to relocate the dormitory population. However, the City continues to face great pressure on our shelter system that requires long-term action and partnership.”
The Centennial College and Humber College dormitories opened as temporary shelters in May as part of a contingency plan for Emergency Social Services as the City’s existing hotel/motel program for refugee/asylum claimants reached capacity. At its peak, about 675 people resided in the two college dormitory programs. The dormitories were available until August 9, when students begin returning for the academic year. With support from other levels of government, municipalities and community agencies, alternative accommodations were found for those living in the dormitories.
The City would like to thank the Government of Canada for providing an initial $11 million to help offset the projected $64.5 million in costs associated with the arrivals of refugee/asylum claimants and for arranging and funding hotel accommodation within the GTA as part of efforts to relocate the dormitory population. The City would also like to thank the Government of Ontario for committing up to $3 million in Red Cross staffing costs as part of the anticipated $6.3 million total cost of operating the college dormitory sites. The City would also like to recognize the Red Cross and COSTI for site management and Centennial College and Humber College. The City is also grateful for the work of its community partners in providing information and referral services and fellow GTA municipalities who have taken in many refugee/asylum claimants.
Since November 2016, the City has served a total of 5482 refugee/asylum claimants in the shelter system and has successfully found permanent housing for 2900 during that time period. As of August 8, the total number of refugees in the City's shelter system is 2880, or 42 per cent of all shelter users. This has increased from 11 per cent in early 2016.
The City of Toronto continues to face extreme challenges accommodating new arrivals of refugees and asylum claimants, including 185 arrivals over the last seven days.
The City has requested that the federal and provincial governments take action to manage the inter-provincial flow of irregular migrants and coordinate the placement of new arrivals to locations outside of the City of Toronto’s shelter system. The City eagerly awaits the September opening of a triage centre in Cornwall, Ontario as promised by the Government of Canada.
The City is committed to continue its work with other orders of government, including municipalities, as well as community partners to find appropriate shelter, accommodation and supports for all those who need it.
Toronto, Aug 4 (Canadian-Media): Details about the Canada’s response to the ongoing arrival of refugee/asylum claimants in the City of Toronto’s shelter system were discussed with Toronto Mayor John Tory and Bill Blair, Ontario Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, media reports said.
A deadline of August 9 had been enforced on the City to relocate temporarily housed refugee/asylum claimants in Centennial and Humber College dormitories, as the colleges require the space for the upcoming school year.
Due to lack of resources or the space, the City of Toronto would reportedly relocate this population to other locations within the City's shelter system.
The Government of Canada is helping the City of Toronto by providing it with an initial $11 million in federal funding to help offset the costs associated with the influx of refugee/asylum seekers.
In addition, Canada has also booked hotel accommodation within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for the refugee/asylum claimants currently housed in the two dormitories. T
The costs of transporting this population to new facilities will be covered by City of Toronto.
The City's request to Canada to better manage flow of irregular migrants and coordinate the placement of new arrivals to other locations outside of the City of Toronto's shelter system, through the introduction of a new triage centre in Cornwall has also been responded.
"Toronto has stepped up to help in any way we can, but there is a limit to what we can do on our own," said Mayor Tory. "The City thanks the federal government for this initial funding and their collaborative efforts to find housing for those living in Toronto college dormitories. We will continue to work with all levels of government, including our municipal partners, to establish a coordinated, regional response to the ongoing pressures of irregular migration."
At its peak, there were about 675 people in the two college dormitory programs. Outside the dormitory program, there are over 1,750 refugee/asylum claimants currently in the City of Toronto hotel program on a nightly basis. The City continues to see 15 to 20 new refugee/asylum claimants entering the system each day.
From November 2016 to date, the City has served a total of 5,315 unique refugee clients in the shelter system, and moved 2,636 refugee/asylum claimants from shelters into permanent housing during that time period, including 31 families from the dormitory program.
Over the coming months, the City will continue to proactively work with other orders of government, including other municipalities and community partners, to find appropriate shelter, accommodation and supports for refugees/asylum claimants.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#asylumseekers; #Canada-U.S.border; #HouseofCommonsimmigrationcommittee; #Ottawa, #Canada; #federalLiberals; #Ontario’sProgressiveConservative; #MichelleRempel; #AhmedHussen; #RalphGoodale; #Jean-YvesDuclos; #DougFord
Ottawa, Jul 17 (Canadian-Media): Three cabinet ministers would be called to explain the Liberal government’s plan to manage the surge in asylum seekers along the Canada-U.S. border by the House of Commons immigration committee which will return in Ottawa this summer for a series of emergency meetings, media reports said.
The committee members met Monday and decided to hold at least two emergency meetings before Aug. 3 to study the government’s response to the thousands of illegal asylum seekers who have entered Canada from the United States.
The committee meetings would try to resolve the mounting tensions between the federal Liberals and Ontario’s Progressive Conservative (PC) government over the approach to resettling the border crossers.
Asylum Seekers/Courtesy of Canadian Press
The Liberals amended the original motion Monday -- tabled by Conservative MP and immigration critic Michelle Rempel who called on Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen to testify -- to add Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
Ontario's support for the resettlement of asylum seekers who cross the border illegally had been withdrew earlier this month by Ontario Premier Doug Ford who said that the problem was created by federal government and it should fix it.
The resettlement of asylum seekers has cost Toronto $72-million, while the province has spent a further $60-million on social assistance and legal aid.
However, the federal government has only set aside $11-million to help Toronto deal with the added costs – money that will flow to the city in the coming weeks.
The $11-million is part of a $50-million federal commitment to Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba to help them pay for some of the extra costs incurred from the influx of asylum seekers.
The federal government said more support was on the way, as officials face an Aug. 9 deadline.
“Regardless about how you feel about this decision, on if it’s right or not, it has been made and Canadians now need information on how much this will cost them and how people will be integrated into Canada,” Rempel said.
Emergency meetings are necessary, said NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan to determine if United States is still a safe country for refugees under President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
“The President put in a policy and then acted on it by ripping [migrant] children away from their parents – throwing them in cages, locking up the parents. Under what planet is that a safe country for anyone?” Kwan said.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#QuébecSolidaire; #ManonMassé; #PartiQuébécois; #Quebec'sImmigrationMinistry
Montreal/Ottawa, June 10 (Canadian-Media): A plan for better integration immigrants in the Quebec had been unveiled by Québec Solidaire, media reports said.
Also included in the plan were creation of a network of information centres and recognition of diplomas obtained outside of Canada.
Manon Massé co-spokesperson, while speaking to reporters Sunday said the party would create a network to provide new immigrants information about jobs, French-language classes, and other kinds of support.
The plan also would ensure that ethnic and visible minority candidates were 25 percent of public sector employees.
Massé said the new information centres, called the Carrefours d'acceuil en immigration, would operate -- under the umbrella of Quebec's Immigration Ministry -- in each region across the province.
According to official reports, integration services currently are being offered unevenly depending on the place of your location.
This factor could force immigrants to leave Quebec altogether if they fail to get the support they need.
"When you arrive here, you don't have any references. You don't necessarily know the language. You don't know how to get your health card done, [or] where jobs are needed," Massé said.
Québec Solidaire also reportedly plans to boost funding for French-language classes, and speed up the recognition rate of diplomas obtained outside of Canada.
Québec Solidaire is the latest party to unveil its platform on immigration ahead of the provincial elections Oct. 1.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#asylumseekers, #SolidarityAcrossBorders, #refugeeclaimants, #far-rightgroups, #StormAlliance
Quebec/Ottawa, May 19 Canadian-Media): Two competing protest rallies had been held Saturday at a major Quebec-New York border crossing close to where thousands of asylum seekers had been illegally crossing into Canada in recent months, media reports said.
Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que.border was the place were demonstrations took place under police presence to ensure the two sides were kept apart.
Far-right groups, including Storm Alliance, a self-described "ultranationalist" denounced, during the rally, the Liberal government's handling of illegal immigration
"I'm against illegal immigration, I'm against the Trudeau government," said Mike Noble, a construction worker who made the trip from Ottawa for the protest.
Counter-protesters from groups including Solidarity Across Borders staged their own demonstration to show refugee claimants they are welcome in the country.
Solidarity Across Borders/Facebook
Disruptions between the rallies at the border crossing during the busy holiday weekend had resulted in the closing of crossing, for more than two hours Saturday afternoon.
Highway 15 in both directions near the U.S. border was also temporarily blocked by Quebec provincial police.
Earlier also, the border had seen the rallies between these two sides, including last year on Canada Day.
Reportedly more than 7,600 people have entered Canada outside official border crossings so far this year, bulk of those crossed in Quebec at Roxham Road.
Asylum seekers Saturday were shown support by a group of residents gathered at an event close to Roxham Road.
#emergencyreceptioncentreforrefugees, #refugeessurgeinToronto, #influxofrefugeesinQuebec, #JohnTory
Toronto, May 19, (Canadia-Media) Toronto Mayor John Tory said May 18 that Toronto will have to open an emergency reception centre within the next week for refugees arriving in the city, media reports said.
For the second time after a few weeks Toronto urged federal and provincial government on Friday for their assistance to ease the pressure put on the city's shelter system by the increasing number of refugees.
As of Thursday night, the city reportedly has 2,683 refugee claimants in the system accounting for 40 percent of Toronto's shelter spaces.
The city expects the more refugees to arrive in Toronto in the coming months, something that could create more strain on the shelter system.
At the current rate of 10 new refugee claimants per night, refugees reportedly could make up more than half of the shelter population by this fall.
Tory says the city will continue to welcome those people, but warns the city needs more support.
"The people of Toronto are generous, they are understanding and they value our role as Canadians in accommodating people in their time of need," Tory said in a news release.
"But the federal and provincial governments need to honour their values and their commitments to these populations as well."
John Tory/Facebook page
The city estimates it's spent some $64 million to provide temporary housing in places like motels.
“Toronto is a city built by immigrants - many who came from around the world as refugees. The people of Toronto are generous, they are understanding and they value our role as Canadians in accommodating people in their time of need,” said Mayor Tory. “But the federal and provincial governments need to honour their values and their commitments to these populations as well.”
Tory's statement says he wants support from the other governments to reimburse the city for that expense, provide staffing support, to help settle the refugees, or the provision of new facilities.
City staff say they believe the rising number of shelter-using refugee claimants is likely tied to the influx of refugees in Quebec, including many who may be travelling to Toronto.
As of late April, more than 5,500 migrants have crossed illegally into Quebec so far this year — a big jump from the 2,000 or so who entered the province by this time in 2017.
Toronto's shelter system continues to operate well beyond the 90 percent capacity target set by councillors.
City statistics show family shelters were 100 percent full, women's shelters were 99 percent full and men's shelters (which have the most spaces) were 95 percent full last night.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#Quebecborder, #Canada, #asylumseekers, #RoyalCanadianMountedPolice, #RCMP, #RalphGoodale
Montreal/Ottawa, May 14 (Canadian-Media): Almost 96 percent of asylum seekers who had so far crossed illegally into Canada in 2018 have done so through the Quebec border, media reports said.
Latest figures of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police reportedly indicated 7,612 people who had entered Canada outside official ports of entry during the first four months of 2018.
More than 7,300 of them had crossed the Canada-U.S. border into Quebec, while Ontario and British Columbia each had received the remainder, about 150 asylum seekers so far in 2018.
The federal government had been urged by Quebec leaders to help pay costs associated with the overrepresentation of asylum seekers in the province.
The official opposition of Quebec had requested Ottawa to suspend an agreement with the United States to encourage future refugees to enter outside official border crossings.
Earlier this month, Ralph Goodale, Canada's Public Safety Minister, had said his government was exploring with the U.S. to reopen the so-called Safe Third Country Agreement.
This agreement would reportedly allow both countries to turn back asylum seekers at border crossings except when they enter through an illegal point of entry.
In recent months, the number of new arrivals of asylum seekers has dramatically increased from 2017.