Statement from the Green Party of Canada for World Refugee Day 2014

On UN World Refugee Day 2014, the Green Party of Canada is bringing attention to the plight of displaced persons across the globe.

“Not so long ago, Canada was a world leader in welcoming and supporting refugees, but sadly, this is no longer the case,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich­–Gulf Islands.

“World Refugee Day is an important opportunity to reflect on our shared responsibility as Canadians and as global citizens to provide care and support for those fleeing violence and chaos in their home countries.”

“In today’s global paradigm, our society is comprised of all the nations of the world,” said Ronnie Smith, the Green Party Critic for Peace and Security. “Canada must demonstrate leadership in this regard by accepting a greater number of refugees and providing increased material support for those around the world who are being oppressed.”

Legislation introduced by the Harper Conservatives since 2011 has made life significantly more difficult for those seeking asylum in Canada. In flagrant violation of international human rights standards, Bill C-4, a bill ostensibly aimed at preventing human smuggling, recently granted immigration officers the authority to jail migrants who arrive in Canada by boat for up to 12 months.

Funding cuts made to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) in 2012 have left untold thousands of Canadian refugees, including pregnant women and young children, without access to health care.

The Green Party of Canada believes in increasing supports for those seeking resettlement in Canada through expanded opportunities for language training, improved recognition of immigrants’ professional credentials, and stronger legal rights for asylum-seekers and new Canadians.