Only one week since being formally sworn in , the Canadian government revealed important immigration policy changes and confirming that Syrian refugees will dominate the storyline for the rest of the year.
In order to oversee the process of accepting 25000 refugees by the end of 2015 a committee of senior experienced cabinet ministers among the new cabinet ministers have been chosen to direct the process. Nine cabinet ministers chaired by Health Minister Jane Philpott with Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly serving as vice-chair.
Immigration and Refugees Minister John McCallum also confirmed the government is working with stakeholders on creating the process for selecting and securing exit permits for refugees. The use of temporary ministerial permits is also being considered. A portion of asylum seekers will be housed on military bases. Ottawa is considering ships, commercial aircraft or military planes. Air Canada will help with transportation before the holiday rush, and ferrying refugees from neighbouring countries. The Liberals pledged that the 25,000 refugees would be sponsored by the government, with taxpayers covering the first-year costs of resettlement
Other refugee policy announcements include:
Invest $200 million over this fiscal year and next to increase refugee processing, as well as sponsorship and settlement services capacity in Canada.
Provide an immediate $100 million new contribution to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to support the critical relief activities in the region.
Fully restoring the Interim Federal Health Program.
Establishing an Expert Human Rights Panel for determination of designated countries of origin and to provide a right to appeal refugee decisions for citizens from such countries. The panel will include representatives from international human rights groups.
Ending the practice of appointing individuals without subject matter expertise to the immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.