Dear Minister McCallum,
I want Canada to be a country that welcomes and supports refugees. I am encouraged that the government has met its goal of resettling 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada at the end of February 2016.
I urge you to:
• Continue to provide resettlement options for Syrian refugees including flexible immigration measures (such as Temporary Resident Permits, work and student visas)
• Ensure the commitment to resettle Syrian refugees does not come at the expense of refugees from other parts of the world.
• Ensure resettlement takes place on a non-discriminatory basis, prioritizing the most vulnerable refugees including women and children.
• Ensure the necessary resources are in place to maintain a robust refugee resettlement program for refugees from all world regions.
• Ensure the programs and services necessary for the successful integration of refugees are available in the communities to which refugees are destined.
• Embrace at all times language, policies and practices which communicate that Canada welcomes refugees.
I further urge you to build on Canada’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis by actively working for a global coordinated, generous and rights-based global response to refugees from all world regions. Canada must be a leader within the international community.