An inexcusable travesty: Canada sent a Syrian minor to solitary confinement

Posted by admin on Feb 22nd, 2016

by Carmen Cheung and Samer Muscati

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/an-inexcusable-travesty-canada-sent-a-syrian-minor-to-solitary-confinement/article28781118/

In early January, Mohamed, a 16-year-old Syrian, arrived in Canada, alone. His parents had made a risky decision: They sent him to Canada in the hope of finding safety after learning that the country was accepting 25,000 Syrian refugees. A few weeks earlier, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was at Toronto’s main airport, personally greeting the first planeload of refugees. Mohamed’s reception by Canadian officials was a little different: The Canada Border Services Agency immediately apprehended and delivered him to the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre, where he was placed in isolation for three weeks.

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Interim Federal Health Program Restored

Posted by admin on Feb 19th, 2016

http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1034619&tp=1

February 18, 2016—Ottawa, ON – All refugees and asylum claimants will soon benefit from full health-care coverage through a restored Interim Federal Health Program, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum, announced today.

Starting April 1, 2016, the Interim Federal Health Program will provide health-care coverage for all eligible beneficiaries – including basic, supplemental, and prescription drug coverage. Similar to provincial/territorial health-care insurance, the coverage will include hospital and physician services. Coverage for supplemental health-care services, such as vision and urgent dental care, and for prescription drugs, will be similar to what the provinces and territories provide to Canadians who receive social assistance.

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Greek match delayed as players stage sit-down protest over migrant deaths

Posted by admin on Feb 4th, 2016

  • All 22 players sit in silence before AEL Larissa versus Acharnaikos
  • Club attacks ‘brutal indifference of EU and Turkey’ to refugee crisis

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/jan/30/greek-match-delayed-players-sit-down-protest-migrant-deaths

 

A Greek second-tier league match was delayed on Friday when players staged a sit-down protest against the death toll of migrants trying to reach the Aegean islands.

The gesture of solidarity took place before the game between AEL Larissa and Acharnaikos in the Thessalian city of Larissa.

As the match kicked off all 22 players plus coaches and substitutes sat in silence for two minutes in a show of respect to the hundreds of refugees who have lost their lives trying to escape conflict or persecution in countries such as Syria and Iraq.

An announcement over the club’s PA system stated: “The administration of AEL, the coaches and the players will observe two minutes of silence just after the start of the match in memory of the hundreds of children who continue to lose their lives every day in the Aegean due to the brutal indifference of the EU and Turkey.
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Refugees motivated but needs higher than thought: report

Posted by admin on Feb 4th, 2016

By Joanna Frketich

http://www.thespec.com/news-story/6255805-refugees-motivated-but-needs-higher-than-thought-report/
Syrian refugees have higher needs than originally expected, states a federal government report.

More than half of those applying to be government assisted are children.

About three-quarters speak no English or French.

The refugees are resourceful and highly motivated to work to the point that they’ve risked arrest in Jordan.

But only the men have experience and mostly in “low-skilled” jobs.
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Aegean Sea refugee crossings rise 35 fold year-on-year in January – watchdog

Posted by admin on Feb 3rd, 2016

by Damien Gayle

More than 52,000 crossed in January, says IOM, as Merkel defends open-door policy and says most refugees will eventually return home

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/30/refugee-arrivals-greece-exceed-52000-january

More than 52,000 refugees and migrants crossed the eastern Mediterranean to reach Europe in the first four weeks of January, more than 35 times as many as attempted the crossing in the same period last year.

The daily average number of people making the crossing is nearly equivalent to the total number for the whole month of January as recently as two years ago, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

More than 250 people have died attempting to make the crossing this month, including at least 39 who drowned in the Aegean Sea on Saturday morning after their boat capsized between Turkey and Greece.

Turkish coastguards rescued 75 others from the sea near the resort of Ayvacik on Saturday, according to the Anadolou news agency. They had been trying to reach the Greek island of Lesbos.
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Syrian refugees waiting in GTA hotels face hurdle in cost of housing

Posted by admin on Feb 3rd, 2016

Many Syrians look for homes in Mississauga, Hamilton, Burlington

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/programs/metromorning/syrian-refugees-waiting-in-gta-hotels-face-hurdle-in-cost-of-housing-1.3425407

When Maher Azem went to meet government-assisted Syrian refugees at a hotel in Toronto’s west end, he expected to be helping out with translation or transportation.

He certainly didn’t expect that it would become his job to find them housing.

But today, Azem is spending almost every spare hour he has helping find housing for dozens of government-assisted refugee families. He heads up a volunteer housing committee for the newly formed Syrian Canadian Foundation.

It’s a frustrating task made harder by the fact that the families are often large and landlords aren’t always too keen on housing people with no credit history.

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Indigenous groups in Winnipeg helping Syrian refugees learn culture

Posted by admin on Feb 2nd, 2016

Link to video

Shaneen Robinson
APTN National News
Thousands of more Syrian refugees will soon be calling Manitoba their new home.

With one of the highest Indigenous populations in Canada, Winnipeg groups have partnered with refugee organizations to learn about each other.

 

Why Migration Should Be Central to Paris COP21 Climate Talks

Posted by admin on Nov 30th, 2015

By: Harsha Walia
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Why-Migration-Should-Be-Central-to-Paris-COP21-Climate-Talks-20151125-0011.html

Climate refugees and displaced peoples bear the brunt of environmental violence.

“We live in constant fear of the adverse impacts of climate change. For a coral atoll nation, sea level rise and more severe weather events loom as a growing threat to our entire population. The threat is real and serious, and is of no difference to a slow and insidious form of terrorism against us.” – Prime Minister of Tuvalu Saufatu Sapo’aga at the United Nations

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, world leaders are closing their borders to refugees and cracking down on civil society participation in the upcoming climate negotiations. Over the past 15 years, the War on Terror has allowed for increased state powers while curbing fundamental rights, especially of racialized bodies marked as threats. Meanwhile, violence against the majority of humanity – including the devastation caused by climate change in places like Tuvalu – continues on with international impunity.

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Voices for Refugees Welcome

Posted by admin on Oct 3rd, 2015

Sunday, October 11 at 2:00pm

YWCA 733 Beatty Street (near Stadium Skytrain)

https://www.facebook.com/events/1501359490156546/

As part of 10 Days for Refugees Welcome (RefugeesWelcome.ca), No One Is Illegal-Vancouver – unceded Coast Salish Territories invites you to a panel discussion on what it means to be a refugee in Canada.

We assert Refugees Welcome! Freedom to move, stay and return.

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#‎RefugeesWelcome‬ responds to Emergency Relief Fund announcement on Syria

Posted by admin on Sep 12th, 2015

September 12, 2015

Toronto, Vancouver
Organizers of #RefugeesWelcome respond to the $100 million emergency matching fund announcement.

“This fund would not have saved Alan, Ghalib and Rehaana’s lives – what we need is to immediately bring refugees and migrants to Canada,” says Tings Chak of No One Is Illegal – Toronto

According to Harsha Walia of No One Is Illegal-Vancouver “This emergency relief fund is a band aid solution. The federal government needs to implement emergency measures, as it has done in the past, to immediately welcome Syrian refugees as well as re-unite family members from Syria. More importantly, the refugee crisis highlights how this government needs to completely overhaul our exclusionary immigration and refugee system so that all refugees and migrants can arrive and remain in safety.”

#RefugeesWelcome is also calling for the $100 million dollar emergency relief fund to be redirected from the $500 million being spent on military intervention in Syria. Walia further adds “We must put an immediate end to Canada’s role in creating an unprecedented crisis of refugees and displaced peoples. We must resolve the refugee crisis because we have a hand in worsening it.”

Refugees Welome actions have taken place in over 30 communities during the past week including in Antigonish, Ajax, Calgary, Charlottetown, Dauphin, Edmonton, Fredericton, Hamilton, Halifax, Inuvik, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Regina, Saskatoon, St. Catharines, St John’s, Sydney, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg. Further responses including educational forums and actions are being called across the country to be coordinated through a website expected to launch Monday September 14 at www.refugeeswelcome.ca

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