This position paper discusses several points regarding how the Canadian government should handle the Syrian refugees.
Montreal, Dec. 11, 2015 – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) joins with other Canadians in welcoming the first group of refugees from Syria under the Liberal government’s new policy. In a symbolic inauguration of the government’s new Syrian refugee initiative, 163 refugees arrived in Toronto late Thursday night. CJPME had been critical for years of the previous government’s parsimonious and closed-minded attitude toward Syrian refugees. As such, the approach of the new Liberal government is refreshing, and CJPME views the first wave of Syrian refugees as the launch an exciting new era for Canada.Read more
Montreal, September 17, 2015 — Almost 3000 Canadians have signed a petition calling for the resignation of Canada’s Immigration and Citizenship Minister Chris Alexander. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) launched the petition about two weeks ago, based on the grassroots anger expressed by many in the wake of the Canadian government’s inaction on the Syrian refugee file. While the petition acknowledged the tragic death of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi on a Turkish beach as the catalyst to the anger, the petition was a broader critique on the record of Alexander as Immigration and Citizen Minister.
Montreal, December 15, 2014 — News sources revealed late last week that Canada was considering a resettlement program for Syrian refugees which would discriminate based on religion. When questioned in the House of Commons on Friday, Parliamentary Secretary Costas Menegakis stated, “We will prioritize persecuted ethnic and religious minorities, those at demonstrated risk, and we will not apologize for that.” Ultimately, since the majority of Syrians are Muslim, the consequence of this policy would be to disfavour Syrian Muslims.Read more
Montreal, December 10, 2014 — CJPME joins with other Canadian and international groups in lamenting Canada’s miserly approach to Syrian refugees. These admonishments come as the UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) made a plea yesterday in Geneva for wealthy countries to increase their refugee resettlement commitments. While Canada has confirmed its willingness to resettle Syrian refugees, it made no new announcements to increase the number of Syrian refugees it would resettle. With its promise to accept a mere 1300 Syrians – out of which only 457 have made their way to Canada – CJPME, Amnesty International Canada and others have condemned Canada for its ungenerous and insensitive approach to Syrian refugees.Read more
Montreal, June 20, 2014 - Following suggestions in Canadian media that Canada is reneging on its promise to resettle Syrian refugees, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) urges the government to step up. CJPME—a grassroots citizens’ group—strongly urges the government to open its doors to some of the 2.4 million Syrians displaced by the internal armed conflict, now in its third year. “The government must stop dithering.Read more
CJPME Factsheet 166, published March, 2013: After two years of civil war, the Syria refugee problem has become huge. This factsheet provides the background context to the crisis, describes the overall numbers after two years, and identifies countries hosting the greatest numbers of refugees. Finally, Canada’s parsimonious aid thus far is examined.Read more