Statement on World Refugee Day 2016

(OTTAWA) June 20, 2016 – The Green Party of Canada released the following statement on World Refugee Day: 

“World Refugee Day is a reminder of the 60 million people that the United Nations estimates are displaced worldwide. Over the past year, we have witnessed heartbreaking images of the plight of Syrian refugees escaping conflict in their homeland, but many developed countries are still not doing enough to accept refugees,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). 

“However, the Green Party is encouraged by the unprecedented effort to resettle more than 26,000 Syrian refugees in Canada earlier this year. Canada has traditionally been an ally to the world’s displaced people, and we are seeing signs of returning to that critical role. 

“A record 1.19-million refugees will need resettlement in 2017, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency. That’s a 72 per cent increase from 2014. Canada and the world have a responsibility to do more,” Ms. May said. “Current national quotas are expected to allow only 143,000 refugee resettlements in 2016.” 

Dimitri Lascaris, Green Party Justice Critic, said: “I am encouraged that Canada plans to resettle even more refugees from Syria throughout 2016 and beyond, and that we will accept about 44,800 refugees this year, a quadruple increase over Canada’s annual refugee resettlement levels from previous years. But we can do more.

“The Green Party of Canada encourages civil society groups and Canadian families to explore the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program, and consider stepping up to sponsor refugees and introduce them to Canadian society,” Mr. Lascaris said.