Feds waive transportation loans for Syrian refugees
Monday, December 14, 2015

The federal government won’t make the 25,000 Syrian refugees it has promised to resettle over the next three months repay the costs of their transportation and medical exams.

For years Canada has required all refugees brought here on publicly funded flights to repay the cost of their flight, travel documents and initial medical exam with interest.

Advocates have argued these “transportation loans” saddle vulnerable new Canadians with thousands of dollars in debt before they even reach their new homes — making it more difficult for them to integrate economically and support themselves.

​The Canadian Council for Refugees, along with politicians of various partisan stripes, say this loan policy should be ended for everyone.  The federal Liberals are making a special exception for 25,000 Syrian refugees.

“The situation in Syria now constitutes the world’s largest refugee crisis, with more than four million fleeing to neighbouring countries. Many refugees fleeing Syria have lost everything they had and will not have any financial resources for some time,” spokesperson Nancy Caron wrote in an email. 

Canada has several other multi-year refugee resettlement commitments in addition to the 25,000 Syrians promised during the election campaign:

  • 23,000 Iraqis by the end of 2015;
  • 6,500 Bhutanese by the end of 2015;
  • 5,000 out of Turkey by the end of 2017;
  • 900 Colombians out of Ecuador by the end of 2016;
  • 2,500 Congolese out of Tanzania and Burundi by the end of 2017;
  • 4,000 Eritreans out of Sudan and Ethiopia by the end of 2018.

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Source: Global News.