Last week, the Senate Committee released their report – Finding Refuge in Canada: A Syrian Resettlement Story. As you may know, OCRA was asked to appear before the Senate Human Rights Committee in October – Our statement to the Committee highlighted several areas of concern for refugee settlement including the importance of access to language training and, the issue that we feel is the most urgent and pressing at this time, family reunification.
We are very happy with the report the Senate Committee released, and feel that they touched on many real and important issues. We were also pleased to see OCRA representatives referenced repeatedly! Above all, we are thrilled to see that the Committee has included supporting refugee family reunification in one of their key recommendations (Recommendation 12).
Recommendation 12 reads:
The Committee recommends that the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship review the refugee resettlement program to identify possible changes to facilitate the timely reunification of refugees already in Canada with members of their family still abroad who may face persecution and other serious risks to their safety. The Committee also recommends that the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship recognize an inclusive definition of family.
Read the full report here, and a big thank you Brian Cornelius, Catherine Fleming, Andrew Harvey and Angela Keller-Herzog for your input into the committee hearing.