TRANSCRIPT

You know, I have a two-year-old myself,

and, so, seeing that image of the boy

lying face down on the beach of the

same age was heartbreaking for everyone who saw it.

There are four and a half million Syrians

that are outside of Syria right now,

and we haven't seen that kind of displacement in 60 years.

Canada's taken in about 2,300.

Of late, we're talking about 25% of that

being sponsored by the federal

government and the rest private.

So, in terms of private sponsors,

the Group of five, it's one where

basically five Canadians or permanent residents

sponsor a refugee from abroad or a family.

And then there's also, of course,

sponsorship agreement holders, so those would be

churches and charities and that kind of thing.

You know, what's been controversial

is that in 2012, the government under Jason Kenney

implemented a rule basically saying

that the UNHCR or foreign government

had to vet the refugee and confirm

that they were, in fact, recognized refugees.

So that's led to a lot of delays.

I mean, there's a couple months in Winnipeg

where the immigration department looks at the application

and then, you know, it goes to a Visa post abroad

so it can be Lebanon taking about 11 months,

it can be Amman, Jordan, taking about 19

or it could be Ankara, Turkey taking about 45 months.

So it's a lengthy process.

While you're waiting, you could do certain things.

You could take a refugee sponsorship training program class

sponsored by the federal government, in part.

That would help you to figure out how to provide shelter

and how to help the refugees find jobs, that kind of thing.

Also custom, familiarizing the refugees

with Canadian customs and language here.

You could do that.

I would also have to keep becoming observant activists.

I would say that they should drop the

UNHCR Foreign Government Recognition Requirement.

They should hire more officers for speedier processing,

get temporary residents permits for, in particular, those

whose family members here can recognize them.

Go to them as opposed to letting them come to us,

and increase the targets fairly dramatically.

We took in 60,000 Vietnamese, you may recall,

in the late 70s, 35,000 Hungarians,

and about a year they were processed.

So, in terms of how you can help

immediately also in terms of providing money to charities.

There's War Child, OxFam, Médecins Sans Frontières.

There's the UNHCR of course, and

Lifeline Syria and others.

Thank you.

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