Canadian Government plans to reduce refugees revealed in letter

Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) Program affected

It was revealed last week that Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney sent a letter to non-profit refugee sponsorship organizations telling them the Canadian Government was planning on reducing the number of refugees allowed to be sponsored by Canadians under the PSR Program.

Refugees to Canada declining

While the Canadian government is boasting that the number of immigrants admitted into Canada each year is at record levels, the number of refugees welcomed into Canada has been steadily declining. Since 2005, refugees in Canada who go on to be permanent residents have decreased by almost 40 per cent. According to the report, the government of Canada will terminate agreements with Sponsorship Agreement Holders by the end of 2011.

According to Minister Kenney, increasing limits are needed to help clear the backlogs in Canada’s immigration system, but critics are calling the new policy changes a limit to Canadian generosity and compassion.

“Putting a cap on the number of refugee applications can mean putting a limit on the generosity of Canadians,” said the Director of the Canadian Council for Refugees.

Critics also say that the problems with the system are the fault of the Canadian government. For example, 40 per cent of the world’s refugees are from sub-Saharan Africa, but Canada only has four offices there for dealing with refugees, making the process take as long as six years.

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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