Canada Celebrates World Refugee Day

Calgary, AB, June 20, 2013 — The  Government of Canada has resettled almost 16,000 refugees to date and is on  track to meet its commitment of resettling 20,000 Iraqis by 2015, Jason Kenney,  Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism announced today on World  Refugee Day. This represents the largest single commitment to resettle a  refugee population in over 25 years.

To  mark World Refugee Day, Minister Kenney will also participate in a roundtable  with refugees hosted by the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society and the Roman  Catholic Diocese of Calgary tonight.

“Canada  has a long humanitarian tradition of providing protection to those truly in  need and we welcome one in ten resettled refugees, more than almost any other  country in the world,” said Minister Kenney. “On World Refugee Day, we should  be proud of Canada’s major contributions to global efforts to resettle vulnerable  refugee populations, and also recognize the efforts of countless organizations  and individuals in Canada who help refugees to Canada settle, integrate and  succeed in their new home.”

Canada  works closely with private sponsors, other countries and the United Nations  High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to find viable long-term solutions to  help refugees around the world. Canada already has one of the most generous  resettlement programs in the world and the government is working to increase  the total number of refugees and other individuals in vulnerable circumstances  that we resettle each year. The Government of Canada has already increased  resettlement assistance by 20 percent.

By  2018, Canada will also resettle up to 5,000 mostly Iranian and Iraqi refugees currently  in Turkey by 2018. This effort will help Turkey deal with growing pressures as  a result of escalating violence in the region.

In  addition, Canada also recently committed to resettling up to 1,000 more  Bhutanese refugees over the next two years, many of whom already have family  ties here. In total, Canada will resettle up to 6,500 Bhutanese  refugees who had been living for nearly two decades in refugee camps in Nepal.  More than 5,000 Bhutanese refugees have already arrived in Canada.

Canada’s  new asylum system, which came into force on December 15, 2012, has been  implemented successfully and is already exceeding expectations.

“Under  our new asylum system, genuine refugees fleeing persecution will receive  protection more quickly—in a matter of months, not years,” said Minister Kenney. “At the same time, by removing unfounded failed asylum  claimants faster, we are ensuring that Canadians will continue to have faith in  our asylum system and support our important humanitarian efforts.”

Minister of  International Cooperation Julian Fantino also made an important announcement  regarding humanitarian assistance for refugees today. The Government of Canada  is investing $5 million over one year to provide  refugees in Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda with three innovative technologies:  streetlights, lanterns, and fuel-efficient stoves. This investment seeks to  make refugee camps safer at night, especially for women and girls, who are more  vulnerable to sexual violence