Canada refugee numbers drop sharply; Refugee Council complains

Update May 11th:  But, but, but ‘we will get back on track when we open a mission in Iraq’ says Kenney, here.  Critics claim Kenney only wants the Christians, Kenney says, not true—we take Muslims!

Canada took less than 10,000 refugees in 2012 and the Canadian Council for Refugees, a leading pro-immigration advocacy group in Canada, is unhappy.   Immigration Minister Jason Kenney blames the slowdown on the closure of their processing office in Syria and promises to do better this year.

From the International Business Times:

Kenney critic Loly Rico of the Refugee Council of Canada

Despite its pledge to resettle more refugees, Canada granted asylum to the second lowest number of refugees in over 30 years according to statistics released by the Canadian Council for Refugees. The statistics shows a drop of 26 percent in the number of refugees resettled in the country from 2011 to 2012.

The Canadian Council for Refugees in a press release expressed its disappointment to witness the sharp drop last year.

“We very much regret that the Minister has not been able to keep his promise to increase the numbers, and that in fact last year fewer people were able to find safety in Canada in this way,” said Loly Rico, President of the Canadian Council for refugee.

“Canadians are proud to protect refugees through resettlement to Canada – but unfortunately the government has been closing the door on refugees,” said Loly Rico.

While commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Refugee Convention in Geneva December 2011, the Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney pledged to increase the number of refugees by 20 percent.

The immigration minister in recent days has blamed the closure of refugee offices in Syria for the sharp drop in the number of refugees resettled by the Canadian federal government.


Resettled refugees come in two streams: Government-Assisted Refugees and Privately Sponsored Refugees. Arrivals in both categories decreased dramatically in 2012.   [The US does not have “privately sponsored refugees” except in a few small number of cases—ed]

According to the statistics, only 5,412 Government-Assisted Refugees were resettled – the lowest number since at least the 1970s, and only 4,212 refugees were received through Private Sponsored Refugees.

In a related story last week, we reported that Canada is speeding up asylum claims so that the citizens of Canada won’t have to support migrants who do not have legitimate asylum claims and need to be cared for sometimes for years as their claims are processed.   That’s a good move and one we should be copying.

For new readers!  Be sure to check our Canada archives, here, where we have 108 other posts about refugee problems in Canada.