Roma family denied stay in Montreal

http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/video?playlistId=1.2199902

Canada Wants Refugees to Go West

Canada Wants Refugees to Go West

Government Aims to Use Immigration Policy to Support Economic Growth

By CHESTER DAWSON and PAUL VIEIRA

Canada is weighing steps to settle refugees in parts of the country with low unemployment levels, signaling the government’s effort to use immigration policy to support economic growth—without alienating voters.

Canada has one of the highest per capita immigration rates in the Group of 20 industrial and developing nations, and just over half of immigrants and nearly half of refugees to Canada settle in Ontario, the country’s largest province, which has a higher unemployment rate than faster-growing Alberta, which attracts a much smaller share of newcomers.

Refugees from Iraq living in Calgary since 2005 still on government help

New life for Iraq refugees in Calgary still a challenge as Christmas nears 

6 BY , CALGARY SUN

FIRST POSTED: | UPDATED: 

More than anything, she’s thankful for the opportunity to raise her family in the safety of Canada.

Arriving in Calgary in 2005 as a refugee from Iraq, the mother of two is grateful for everything her new home has given her — a warm, safe home through Calgary Housing as well as social assistance, which she says just barely covers their basic expenses.

“I get help from the government,” she said.

“But it’s never enough.”

She and her husband both suffer from a variety of health problems that not only keep them from working, but also incurs the family extra expenses.

The woman suffers from a heart condition as well as high blood pressure, while her husband is diabetic and has limited eyesight due to ongoing surgery to correct the eye condition.

The couple requires a special diet to help manage their conditions, which often stretches their already tight budget past the breaking point.

As well, her four-year-old son is asthmatic and has a learning disability, requiring him to attend speech therapy sessions five days a week.

What this family wants most of all for Christmas are items that many of us don’t give second thoughts to.

A bed and mattress for her five-year-old daughter, who currently doesn’t have a bed of her own.

A couch to replace their current one, which is broken and full of holes.

Bath mats.

Shower curtains.

An electric razor so her husband can cut both he and his son’s hair.

Canada doesn’t have to accept refugees with serious non-political crimes in their history, Supreme Court rules

By Giuseppe Valiante, National Bureau

 OTTAWA — Refugee claimants who have previously committed non-political, serious crimes in other countries cannot seek safe haven in Canada, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

In a 5-2 decision, Canada’s highest court said the country’s refugees laws apply to anyone who committed a serious crime outside Canada prior to asking for refugee status, whether or not the seeker served time or is a fugitive.

The specific court challenge came from a 59-year-old Cuban citizen, who was striped of his refugee status in the U.S., entered Canada illegally in 2008 and applied for refuge status.

Luis Alberto Hernandez Febles had pleaded guilty twice in the U.S. to violent crimes.

He blamed alcohol for hitting someone in the head with a hammer, and for pointing a knife at another person years later and uttering threats. He was given a two-year prison term in 1984 and in 1993; he completed both sentences.

Hungary is top country of origin for refugee claimants paid to leave Canada

November 5, 2014 10:01 am

Canada pays thousands of Roma to abandon refugee appeals, leave country

By  Global News

Dominik Tomko signed along the dotted line. His flight was booked, his bags packed: He’d agreed to accept $8,000 plus plane tickets in exchange for abandoning his refugee claim, and leaving the country with his wife and two sons.

Then, 17 days before his Aug. 28 takeoff date, he changed his mind. His brother Miroslav’s claim, virtually identical to Tomko’s own, had been approved.

“I didn’t know my brother was going to be accepted. So I was already prepared to go home.”

Tomko would have been one of more than 3,600 people Canada paid to abandon their refugee claims and leave the country since July, 2012, federal statistics show.

And data Global News obtained under federal access-to-information laws indicates most of these refugee claimants are Roma. Citizens of Hungary, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia make up 61 per cent of the total of people in the program – more than 1,800 by March of this year.

Immigration and Refugee Minister Chris Alexander refused to speak with Global News for this story.

“The [Canadian Border Services Agency] will not speculate on why these are the top five countries of return,” CBSA spokesperson Line Guibert-Wolf said in an e-mail.

Under the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Program, unsuccessful refugee claimants who agree to abandon the appeal process are given airfare home, which on average costs $1,500, and “in-kind reintegration assistance” to a maximum of $2,000.

That payment “may be used to pay for services such as assistance creating a small business, obtaining education and/or job training,” CBSA spokesperson Esme Bailey wrote in an e-mail.

The payments are administered by the Geneva-based International Organization for Migration, which describes the program as “politically more palatable and less sensitive than the return of émigrés in shackles.”

Since Canada began the program in 2012, it has spent a total of $7.5 million paying would-be refugees to leave.

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CALGARY: Fariborz Birjandian, head of Calgary Catholic Immigration society, thinks Canada should take in more Syrian refugees

October 10, 2014 7:20 pm

Refugee families now call Calgary home thanks to local help

By  and   Global News

It’s been a year since Fadi Yacoub and his family fled from war-torn Syria to Lebanon.

Once in Lebanon they applied for refugee status, and a year later Calgary is their home.

Yacoub says the year-long wait was well worth it.

“I’m happy that I’m here,” he says. “I want a good future for my kids; it’s been four years that they didn’t go to school. “

There are currently more than three million Syrian refugees in the world, a number that climbs daily.

Yacoub’s wife, Ralda, knows how lucky her family is.

Canada, I heard from a lot of people that it’s a safe place, “says Ralda. “Thank god now that I’m here, I feel like my life is back again.”

While the family is grateful, the transition from Syria to Canada has had its challenges. Their daughter Perla is still adjusting to life in Calgary.