Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

September 01, 2010 15:00 ET

Minister Kenney Encourages Groups to Sponsor Refugees to Come to Canada

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 1, 2010) - Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney today met with community groups to encourage them to consider sponsoring refugees to come to Canada.

"Canada has a long history of helping those most in need," said Minister Kenney. "I'm encouraging the groups I've been meeting with, and others across the country who are interested, to be part of this history in a very personal and direct way."

To promote the program to a diversity of groups, Minister Kenney has travelled to Vancouver, Kitchener and Toronto so far this summer to meet with community groups. He is encouraging them to become private sponsors and to help resettle people who are in desperate need of Canada's protection.

Groups who sponsor refugees commit to providing financial assistance for one year or until the refugees can support themselves financially, whichever comes first. This assistance includes accommodation, clothing and food. Beyond providing for their physical needs, sponsors also offer emotional support and friendship to the refugees for the duration of the sponsorship period, and often well beyond.

"I am proud that Canada has one of the world's largest refugee resettlement programs. It reflects Canadians' long-standing humanitarian tradition of offering protection to the displaced and persecuted," said Minister Kenney.

Through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program, Canada has welcomed more than 200,000 refugees from all over the world, over and above the number of refugees resettled through the Government-Assisted Refugees Program.

As part of the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, which was passed into law earlier this summer, the Government of Canada will increase the number of resettled refugees per year by 20 percent. This includes 2,000 more spots in the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. 

Since 2007, Canada has doubled refugee targets in the Middle East to allow for more resettlement of Iraqi refugees. Canada's commitment to the protection of Iraqi refugees is ongoing and, since 2002, over 11,000 Iraqi refugees have been resettled in Canada.

In 2008, the latest date for which data are available, Canada was second only to the United States among all industrialized countries for providing protection to refugees from abroad and at home.

For more information on Canada's resettlement program, visit CIC's website.

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Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Alykhan Velshi
    or
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Communications Branch
    Media Relations
    613-952-1650
    CIC-Media-Relations@cic.gc.ca