‘We can’t abandon them’: Senators urge more language, mental health supports for Syrian refugees

Sensible set of recommendations:

One year after the first wave of Syrian refugees arrived in Canada, the Senate’s committee on human rights is urging the federal government to boost language training, mental health services and financial supports to ease the next phase of the resettlement process.

Releasing a report called “Finding Refuge in Canada: A Syrian Resettlement Story,” committee chair Jim Munson said while the program has been a Canadian success story, the government and citizens must not be complacent.

“We can’t abandon them. We can’t let indifference set in. We need to do more to help them in their next resettlement steps,” he said during a news conference in Ottawa Tuesday.

The report recommends:

  • The minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship set and meet specific standards for processing times.

  • Improving the flow of information to refugees on the status of applications.

  • Connecting refugees with networks of supportive individuals in their communities.

  • Ensuring the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) maintain timely processing for disbursement of the Canada Child Benefit.

  • Replacing immigration loans for transportation expenses with a grant.

  • Increasing funds for language training, and providing accompanying child care to improve access for women.

  • Working with provinces, territories and community groups to enhance programming for youth.

  • Improving culturally appropriate mental health programs.

  • Identifying possible changes to facilitate timely family reunification.

Source: ‘We can’t abandon them’: Senators urge more language, mental health supports for Syrian refugees – Politics – CBC News

And The Globe has a good profile of how some schools are integrating Syrian refugee kids:

 Finding sanctuary: Why education is challenging but crucial for Syrian refugees 

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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