FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 2, 2009
OTTAWA – After accepting the smallest number of refugees in 10 years, Minister Jason Kenney has dramatically cut the 2010 target number of refugees to be accepted in Canada and their overseas dependents by more than half, said New Democrat Immigration Critic Olivia Chow.
The just released 2009 Annual Report on Citizenship and Immigration 2010 target level of “Protected Persons in Canada and Dependents Abroad” ranged from a low of 9,000 to a high of 12,000 as compared to the 2006 level of 22,500 to 28,000.
Harper’s Conservatives will deny close to 17,000 refugees and their children a permanent home in Canada.
“Many of the refugees turned away, and their children, will face beatings, torture, and even death,” said Chow. “This government is working to ensure that Canada is no longer a land of hope and compassion.”
By steeply dropping the targets, refusing to appoint Refugee Board members for 2 years, cutting $4 million in the department and allowing for board appointments not based on merit, Harper’s Conservative government is deliberately creating a crisis in the refugee system. The crisis is then used as an excuse to bring in draconian measures to close the door to the most needy and vulnerable.
“The mean-spirited anti-refugee ideology of the Reform Party is finally showing its face,” said Chow. “And 17,000 refugees will suffer because of it.”
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