On the heels of World Refugee Day (WRD), Canada is opening doors to welcome more refugees. These new steps “will help Canada offer asylum to more people who need it, welcome more refugees through new channels and increase support to those welcomed through community sponsorship,” the Honorable Marco E.L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced on Friday June 18.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada says these initiatives will bolster the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) program launched in 2018 and will admit refugees as economic immigrants which will help “flip the stereotypes” attached to refugees as “victims” and recognize their talent and skills. This policy enhancement will help settle new 500 refugees and their families.
“There’s another reason that Canada’s light shines brightly, and that is the contributions of refugees themselves in so many ways,” Mendicino said adding, “we’ve seen refugees give back to their new communities and their countries, even during the pandemic.”
This year, the number of protected persons, defined as people who have applied for and been granted refugee status after arriving in the country, as well as their families will now go up to 45,000 from 23,500 as stated in the new policy statement.
The Honorable Marco E.L. Mendicino announced new measures to improve the pilot process, including waiving fees and expediting permanent residency applications. He also announced the government plans to spend an additional C$3 million ($2.4 million) over two years for refugee sponsorship and modestly expand a program blending refugee resettlement with economic immigration.