2nd Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 149, Issue 131

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
The Honourable Leo Housakos, Speaker pro tempore

Citizenship and Immigration

Syrian Refugees

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Leader, today in Turkey there are 2 million refugees. If you say we fed 2 million refugees, you didn’t give me an idea of how long we fed them. Turkey spends $30 million per month on feeding refugees and looking after refugees in their country.

How many refugees are we looking after in Canada?


Hon. Claude Carignan (Leader of the Government): Senator, Turkey is in a unique position both geographically and geopolitically. That being said, on March 10, 2015, we committed to help resettle 1,300 Syrian refugees. That target was met. All of those people have become permanent residents of Canada. We also increased that commitment to 10,000 more resettlements over the next three years. That brings Canada’s commitment to the Syrian community to 11,300 resettlements.

In other words, Canada will be resettling 10 per cent of the 100,000 Syrian refugees that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees asked the international community to resettle.

I would also like to add that Canada increased its commitment and agreed to resettle 3,000 additional Iraqi refugees, which brings our commitment to 23,000 resettled refugees.

I therefore think that Canada is a leader when it comes to resettling refugees. The international community is very appreciative of the extremely important role that Canada is playing both in resettling refugees here and in providing humanitarian aid in the refugee camps.


Senator Jaffer: Thank you, leader, for your response.

Leader, if I heard you clearly, you talked about “committed.” I have asked you before and I ask you again: Exactly how many refugees have arrived on our shores?


Senator Carignan: As I explained, the promise we made on March 10, 2015 has been kept. The 1,300 refugees are now permanent residents of Canada. Furthermore, 23,000 Iraqi refugees have been resettled in Canada.