Tuesday, 15 December 2015

The Canadian Refugee Programs: FAQs

My refugees students 
were such an addition to our classroom community!
This was precipitated by yet another incident by a Facebook 'friend'. A new friend of a friend I had to unfriend. Such lies and misinformation about Muslims, about their holy  Q'uran, someone called an 'evil book.' (She hasn't, obviously, read the Bible. Full of smiting and slaying!)  Sadly, it was something she'd read by someone intent on spreading hate in this subculture of racist rhetoric. For this reason, I shall laud the work of Canada, our new handsome, smart, kind and caring PM Justin Trudeau, and Canadians who have come together.

Canada's refugee program draws praise around the world

Lots of strangers are coming together to help Syrian refugees. In Perth, ON, a small town of 9,000, there is The CARR. In Prince Edward County, PEC Syria.  Capital Rainbow Refuge, helps LGBT refugees. There are many more! There are refugees here for years who have brought in extended family members, now that the new government has permitted such.

Our small centres dispel the myth that all refugees must be settled in a major city centre. Many refugees are, indeed, farmers. We know, too, how rural folks come together.
There is much misinformation in the public. I watched a CBC show, The National, last month –they had an expert panel on refugees coming to Canada. These are their answers to simple questions.

How is it possible to vet thousands of refugees in this time frame?

Mike Molloy: U of O professor.
How? Putting a lot of people on the job: 500 people have been sent overseas. It's a professional team with experience. They are in three places: Beirut, Amman and somewhere in Turkey. They are using biometrics to ensure ID between here and there. They are ensuring they aren't on terrorist watch lists.

What do private refugees groups do?

A lot of people coming over are already assigned to private sponsors. Privately settled refugees have a different circle of support than those brought in by the government. Gov't assisted refugees are assisted by government employees and settlement organizations. Privately settled refugees are looked after by groups of people who work together to get them housing, banking services, a SIN, and it is a small team, who wrap themselves around the family.

Dr. Meb Rashid; Canadian Doctors For Refugee Care

Another good news story about refugees
 Both groups (privately sponsored and government sponsored refugees) have health insurance, federal health program. They will have access to medication, counselling, prosthetics. Back in 2012 the old, fearful, cheap government decided not to care for refugees and had this program cancelled.


The name of the game is to prevent terrorists from getting here. Most of the people in refugees camps have been there for 4 years or so. Most of the loon wolves in North America have been young people going mad. There are many myths about sleeper cells, which feature in many cop shows these days. Crikey. As Convention Refugees, they can't be sent back to countries where they were at risk. This is for all but serious issues with the law, the system will deal with them here. Thankfully, our new government doesn't have supporters who despise spending money on people who are our most vulnerable.

Ratna Omidvar; Lifeline Syria

There is a maturity of our systems and our long history of bringing in refugees: Bulgarians, Indo-Chinese, Chileans.

Communicable diseases: we have millions of people coming in to Canada every year. They bring many diseases, which we have managed: toxocariasis, TB, as examples. Immunization - if someone doesn't have immunization records, they do a full primary series, no harm in over-vaccinating. Most adults don't have records.

Jobs, housing, healthcare 

Louisa Taylor, Director, Refugee 613
Housing: This is not up to the government: there are agencies such as Ottawa's Refugee 613 task force, with private landlords, housing coops, they are all on board.

Refugee 613 - Ottawa
Jobs: There is a healthy sector across the board.
Refugees privately are offered jobs and support by individuals. Social capital matters. Many groups have lined up 4 or 5 leads for the head of household who is a tradesman, for example.

Health: The refugees are in good health. There is self selection: they go up over mountains, across rivers and seas, to get to the refugees camps. Syrians are low in infectious disease, as they've had an evolved healthcare system up until 5 years ago. There is lots of chronic disease, children without well-child visits, or immunizations, also, with shrapnel wounds and amputations, which can be fixed. There are mental health issues with PTSD, being in a safe environment is step one. What they need is good primary care early. They will acclimatize well.

Why aren't refugees going to Arab states?

Mike Molloy
The Arab world is providing money, but not refuge. Since the 2nd World War the US, Australia, and Canada have welcomed many refugees.  They are missing out on good human capital. Syria was highly developed, solid public education, free post educational system, and a strong sense of public service, they say we will benefit from opening our doors and hearts to these refugees. These are smart, education citizens, who will contribute to Canada.
This is so much fun!

Good news for agencies helping new refugees. Please let any charities within a hour of an IKEA know. You can save the sponsors significant money that they can use for other important needs for the newcomers.
"Obviously, it will cost money to [take care of] the newcomers at first, but Germany can afford it."

1,000+ visas issued, Ottawa signals 50,000 Syrian refugees possible

First wave has begun with 271 resettled in Canada over the last four weeks, with the arrival of thousands more imminent and the final number likely to rise, the immigration minister says.

“Everybody, I think, was just completely overwhelmed and shocked";‪#‎LakeofBays‬ couple donates surprising amount of cash to refugee efforts in ‪#‎Huntsville‬http://www.muskokaregion.com/…/6153833-resident-donates-28…/

HUNTSVILLE – A Lake of Bays resident wanted to make a difference for Syrian refugees in crisis.
“He (Robert) said he was on the fence about the refugee situation to start with, and then the more he thought about it, the more he realized they are human beings, just like us,” said Parkinson. “He got sick of all the negative press, people talking about terrorism and the racism that he saw, so he decided he wanted to support them and stem the tide of negativity by doing something positive.”


Globe & Mail: refugees
The UNHCR’s screening of its list for Canada was at full tilt on Friday in Amman, as 500 Syrian refugees – heads of their respective families – crowded into the metal-roofed hangar that is ordinarily the registration area for newly arrived refugees. Each of the 500 had received a mobile-phone message from the UN refugee agency suggesting his or her family might qualify for resettlement in Canada. Another 1,000 will be interviewed on Saturday.

Germany is doing good work

Storytelling and therapy

Lest you fear refugees...

Mass shootings in the US. We need not recite the names of the loon wolves who have sought infamous headlines. They have done such harm. True Muslims, and some of the refugees are Christian, are peaceful family units who love Allah.
mass murders


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh good for you Jenn. I can't even tell you how upset I am with some of the rhetoric and horrifying things coming out of the mouths of our Republican candidates and others here.

William Kendall said...

I was saying earlier today that those who are so xenophobic about the refugee situation are completely ignoring what has happened every single time this country has previously let in waves of refugees from trouble-spots in the world: they have enriched this country and made us the better for it. The same will apply for Syrians coming here, and we are obliged as human beings to help them.

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm very proud of how Canada has opened its doors.

Red said...

One of the locals who reads my blog made racially prejudiced comment about Muslims today. He puts all muslims in the violent faction. No reasoning with the idiot.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Thanks for giving a sane showing of this problem for these people.