Writing for The Globe and Mail, Wendy Stueck and Jill Mahoney write about the problems facing Syrian refugees in Canada. Among other things, backlogs are a problem.
When Justin Trudeau was elected on the promise of bringing 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada last year, scores of private sponsorship groups – co-workers, church members, neighbours and friends – rose to the challenge.
They raised thousands of dollars, rented and furnished apartments and lined up volunteers to drive, tutor and support refugees.
But now, many have nothing to do but wait. While the government has resettled more than 35,000 Syrian refugees in the past 13 months – 26,000 by the end of February – thousands more are caught in a bureaucratic backlog and have waited months in difficult conditions.
That total includes privately and government-sponsored refugees. This past March, under pressure from private sponsorship groups, Ottawa said it would do its best to process privately sponsored refugee applications received before March 31, 2016, by the end of this year or early 2017.
That commitment refers to about 12,000 PSR applications.