Ottawa ends program reuniting Syrian refugees with relatives in Canada
2017/01/14 1 Comment
Reasonable given lack of sponsors who may be using other avenues:
The federal government has quietly cancelled a program that matched private Canadian sponsors with Syrian refugees abroad who have relatives in Canada because of low sponsor turnout.
The Syrian Family Links Initiative was discontinued on Dec. 31. While families in Canada had registered more than 8,000 people for the program, only 36 private sponsors applied, for a total of 127 refugees.
“Given the ongoing crisis in Syria, the response by Syrian families in Canada to Family Links has been overwhelming, with 8,025 Syrian refugee family members being registered for sponsorship. Unfortunately, the number of refugees registered far exceeded the number of sponsors available,” read Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website.
“As a result, the Syrian Family Links Initiative will be discontinued on December 31, 2016, due to the low turn-out of sponsors.”
The immigration department said many private sponsors already knew Syrian refugees in Canada with displaced family members overseas, and therefore few of them used Family Links. However, some people involved in refugee sponsorship said the program was not promoted enough.
The government does not track how many Syrian refugees sponsored through Family Links have arrived in Canada,. Nearly 40,000 Syrian refugees had landed in Canada as of Jan. 2 – 21,751 government assisted, 13,997 privately sponsored and 3,923 through a blended program of private and government sponsorship.