The parliamentary committee, immigration advocates, urged Ottawa to expand early entry measures for refugees from other parts of the world to Ukrainian citizens fleeing Russian invasion of their homeland.
Canada extended a helping hand to Ukrainians fleeing a Russian invasion of their homeland today, even as calls mount for equal and equal treatment for refugees from other countries.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Minister, Sean Fraser said that out of 120,000 applications received under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) program since last month, more than 41,000 Ukrainians have been processed to enter Canada has gone.
“We will continue to work with our provincial and regional partners, settlement organizations and the Canadian-Ukrainian community,” he said today at a Vancouver media event, where new support for Ukrainian refugees arriving in British Columbia was announced.
New supports include the expansion of the bc211 multilingual telephone service operated by United Way.
Available 24 hours a day, bc211 is a multilingual service that connects people with more than 15,500 free social support, services and community events across the province.
“Expanding services to include BC 211 is our next step in supporting Ukrainians coming to British Columbia with the services they need,” said BC Minister of Municipal Affairs Nathan Cullen.
“United Way’s experienced approach in handling the crisis will help expand Service BC’s phone line, ensuring that we are able to support more people and families arriving from Ukraine by reaching newcomer support as well as the British Help coordinate the incredible generosity of the Colombian people.” They said.
“Service BC has received hundreds of calls for support over the past week, and we know demand will increase as more displaced Ukrainians come to our shores,” said BC Civil Services Minister Lisa Beer.
Additional support for Ukrainian settlement
In addition to expanding services to United Way British Columbia, the province has ensured that more support is available to help Ukrainians settle in BC, including:
- Access to free employment services and supports available through 102 WorkBC Centers, including skills training, employment counseling and access to the WorkBC Provincial Job Board, which contains more than 49,000 job postings, job application tips and career tools.
- School districts are free to enroll K-12 students from Ukraine and may waive additional fees, which may be for extracurricular activities such as music or soccer camps where the family’s financial situation requires it.
- Affordable and no-cost mental-health resources for children, youth and their families from community counseling providers throughout British Columbia; And
- Ensuring that Ukrainians are eligible for domestic teaching in public secondary institutions regardless of the CUAET programme. Also, post-secondary institutions are providing access to on-campus support, including mental health, housing, and financial aid, such as emergency grants or tuition deferment.
Unequal barriers for non-Ukrainian refugees
Today’s incident comes in the wake of a statement by the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, asking the government to extend special immigration measures to Ukrainian citizens in other regions facing humanitarian crisis such as Afghanistan, Yemen, Hong Kong has been called upon. and the displacement of Rohingyas from Myanmar.
The committee asked the immigration minister to ensure that Canada’s response to the ongoing humanitarian crises in various regions “is treated with the same enthusiasm as that of Ukraine.”
Among the witnesses who testified at the committee’s hearings before the statement was released was Ahmed Sayed, an interpreter for the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan.
“All we’re asking is that our families be treated as Ukrainian citizens. We understand what they’re going through, and we wholeheartedly support them. They avoid the violence and death perpetrated by the Russians.” We’ve been there. Now, our family members are trying to escape the Taliban. Aren’t our lives the same as Ukrainian citizens?” Saeed testified.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, last July, committed to bringing in 40,000 refugees fleeing the Taliban, including Afghans who worked for the Canadian military. Since then less than a quarter have arrived in Canada.
NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan said the government recently asked Afghan interpreters to complete even more bureaucratic red tape before relocating their families to a safe place in Canada.
“In an email to Afghan interpreters, the government says they have 30 days to submit additional documents, or their families’ applications may be rejected. Families have already submitted abundant documents. Now Eight months later, the government is creating more hurdles for the families,” she said.
“The former Afghan interpreters are part of the Canadian military family – they deserve recognition … Afghan interpreters and their families have gone through a lot,” Kwan said.
Racism in refugee policies
An IRCC spokesman, Rémi Larivire, told New Canadian Media that the situation involving Ukraine and Afghan refugees is complex and different.
She said CUAET is a temporary residence route for Canada, not a permanent resettlement route reserved for refugees.
“We continue to process applications for Afghans residing inside Afghanistan as well as individuals residing in third countries. Customers who have complex cases will take longer to process as we are able to receive information and process their applications. Work to work through,” Larrivier said.
“The reality is that we in Afghanistan have barriers that were not present in other large-scale resettlement efforts… we are doing everything we can, and trying to help Afghans in and out of Afghanistan. using all available methods.”
NCM The report said that while many are appreciating Canada’s humanitarian support for the nearly two million refugees who have fled Ukraine since the February 24 Russian attack, Canadians are unequal treatment given to people displaced from other war-torn lands. such as Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine and Iraq.
“It’s basically racism,” said Noor El Qadri, a professor at the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa.
He pointed out that Canada had promised to take 25,000 Syrian refugees during the Syrian crisis in 2015 and 40,000 Afghans after the fall of Kabul by the Taliban, but it has not set any limits for Ukrainian refugees.
A recent study by the Angus Reed Institute also showed that when it comes to welcoming refugees, more Canadians are willing to open their hearts and homes to those fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine than those who survived the Syrian Civil War. are ready.
“Canada’s unequal refugee policy reflects more than just laziness on the part of the government – it carries the weight of a racist, and unfortunately mainstream media rhetoric: Ukrainian refugees, most of them white Christian Europeans, Canadian society Dima Kiwan, a second-year graduate student at McGill University, wrote in an op-ed for the McGill Tribune recently.