THE Conservatives’ Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Critic, Michelle Rempel, on Tuesday said that “many improvements must be made to the government’s response to the global migration crisis.”
In a statement to mark World Refugee Day, Rempel said: “We mark this year’s World Refugee Day in the midst of the world’s greatest migration crisis since the Second World War.
“It is not just conflict in the Middle East that we must draw our attention to. There are displaced persons throughout the world and these situations are escalating, not decreasing.
“This is why the global community must take swift and sustainable action to stop and prevent conflict, assist in the development of sustainable economies, maintain democracies and civil society, root out corruption and authoritarianism, and protect human rights for all ethnic, religious, gender and sexually diverse minorities.
“Canada has a long history of assisting refugees. Through successive governments, Canada has offered safe haven to hundreds of thousands who have fled persecution to start a new life within our borders.”
The Conservatives want the government to immediately:
- Ensure integration support for persecuted refugees, including language training and skills training;
- Stop the practice of fully offloading costs for refugees, such as affordable housing provision, social assistance payments, and special needs primary education, to the provinces;
- Address the massive 45,000 person backlog of privately sponsored refugees, which includes Yazidi genocide survivors, Iraqi Christians and members of the LGBTQ+ community;
- Develop a plan to significantly reduce processing times when refugees are faced with demonstrated emergent situations of the four atrocity crimes or targeted state sanctioned persecution;
- Establish a Standing Subcommittee of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration to study the internal displacement of persons around the world and Canada’s potential responses thereto. This would allow Parliament to address emergent, immediate crises such as the Yazidi genocide or the persecution of gay men in Chechnya;
- Address the severe crisis in processing times at the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship board, which has created an 11 year backlog in asylum claims at a potential cost of $2.97 billion to Canadian taxpayers;
- Work to address the border crossing crisis in areas such as Emerson Manitoba. This includes strongly condemning this practice as unsafe and developing a plan to address procedural, legislative and resourcing issues which continue to facilitate this crisis;
- Use Canada’s voice in the global community to pressure the United Nations to eliminate institutionalized discrimination or barriers to seeking refugee status encountered by vulnerable minority groups; and who seek protection through the UNHCR process, as we saw with the referral of Yazidi genocide victims; and
- Make the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Program, established under the former Conservative government, a regular, fully promoted, on-going program with multi-year funding.
“The Conservative Party of Canada will continue to be a voice for the protection of human rights and the world’s most vulnerable,” said Rempel.