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Jagmeet's Statement on World Refugee Day

"On World Refugee Day, we commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. This year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee.” - UNHCR

On World Refugee Day, the UN calls on the public to show support for those forced to flee. In a year filled with uncertainty and change it is paramount that we, as Canadians, continue to fight for the safety and security of displaced persons.  

As a member of a diaspora community, I understand the pain and uncertainty that comes with losing your home. Persecuted in their home country, my parents came to Canada to build a family and a better future. My parents were welcomed and given the opportunity to realize their dreams. But the struggle did not end with their generation.

The UNCHR currently estimates over 65 million people are sitting with the memories of home – a home they may never return to. With compassion, we recognize that refugees and internally displaced persons yearn for safety, stability, and to reunite families scattered across the globe.  With love, I affirm their right to a better life.

I am proud that Canada is among global leaders in the fight to protect and resettle refugees. We can do so much more.

Canada must invest more resources, both through Citizenship and Immigration Canada and for the organizations working on the ground to safely resettle refugees. We must make reunification a possibility for every family resettled in Canada, and we must enable newly-arrived persons the ability to begin work and rebuild their lives, immediately.

I call on the Trudeau government to immediately rescind the Safe Third Country Agreement, increase its 2017 targets for refugee resettlement, reduce the current backlog in sponsorship applications, and continue to pursue other pathways to protection for the world’s refugees. This must be supported by adequate legal funding to ensure proper legal access and representation is available to refugee claimants.

This year, we stand with refugees around the world and affirm every person’s right to safety, stability and opportunity. Join me in praising their strength and perseverance as we work towards a better world.