Canada's 'cruel' refugee loans leave non-Syrian newcomers with growing debt, say advocates
Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Refugee advocates are calling on the federal government to end what they call the "cruel" practice of requiring refugees to pay back interest-bearing loans to cover transport and medical costs.

The federal government is covering the cost of bringing in 25,000 Syrian refugees slated to arrive by the end of February, but advocates say thousands of other refugees are struggling to repay the government loans they were issued when they arrived.

Chris Friesen with the Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia says he works with immigrants who are facing a mountain of debt, and many are struggling to buy the basics of food and clothing.

"More and more refugees are using, for example, their child tax benefits; they're using part of their food money [to pay back the loans]," said Friesen.

"They're asking their children to work after school, or in some cases, even drop out of high school to help, and meet the financial needs of the family."

 

 

Read full article here.

Source: CBC News