Canada

Political System

Canada is a parliamentary democracy divided into three parts:

  • The Crown: Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state. She is represented by the Governor General, who is appointed based on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

  • The Senate: The Senate is the upper house of the legislature. Members are appointed by recommendation by the General Governor. Legislation in Canada is broken into a federal government, ten provincial governments, and three territorial governments.

  • The House of Commons: The House of Commons used a single-member, single-plurality voting system in which elections are held every four years for the 338 constituencies. The Prime Minister is the head of the majority party of the House of Representatives. The current Prime Minister is Justin Trudeau.

Current Political Leaders (2016)
  • Justin Trudeau: Trudeau was elected to the House of Commons for the first time in 2008, then again in 2011 and 2015. In 2013, he was elected as the head of his party[i], the Liberal Party of Canada[ii]. He and his party won the majority of the seats of the House of Commons on October 19, 2015, and Trudeau was sworn in as Canada’s Prime Minister on November 4. Trudeau is the first Prime Minister to have a cabinet made of equal amounts men and women[iii].

  • David Johnston: Johnston is the Governor General of Canada. He was appointed by the Queen on July 8, 2010, according to the former Prime Minster Stephen Harper’s recommendation[iv].

  • Queen Elizabeth II: The Queen is the formal head of state, as Canada is a constitutional monarchy, but is represented federally by the Governor General[v]


[i] http://pm.gc.ca/eng/prime-minister-justin-trudeau

[ii] http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members/Justin-Trudeau(58733)

[iii] http://pm.gc.ca/eng/prime-minister-justin-trudeau

[iv] http://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=13871&lan=eng

[v] https://www.royal.uk/canada

National Statistics
  • Population in 2011: 36,286,425[i] (82% urban, 18% rural[ii])

  • Population Density: 4 people per square kilometer[iii]

  • Land Area: 9,093,507 square kilometers[iv]

  • Estimated Per Capita Income = $78,870[v]

  • Estimated Per Capita Income = $78,870[vi]

  • Racial Breakdown:

    • White = 73.27%

    • South Asian = 4.77%

    • Chinese = 4.03%

    • Black = 2.88%

    • Filipino = 1.89%

    • Latin American = 1.05%[vii]

  • Population Density: 4 people per square kilometer[viii]

  • Unemployment Rate (November 2016): 6.8%[ix]


[i] http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/160928/dq160928f-eng.htm?HPA=1&indid=4098-1&indgeo=0

[ii] http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.URB.TOTL.IN.ZS?locations=CA

[iii] http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.POP.DNST?locations=CA

[iv] http://world.bymap.org/LandArea.html

[v] http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/famil108a-eng.htm

[vi] http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/famil108a-eng.htm

[vii] http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/dp-pd/prof/details/page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=PR&Code1=01&Data=Count&SearchText=Canada&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&A1=All&B1=All&Custom=&TABID=1

[viii] http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.POP.DNST?locations=CA

[x] http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/lfss01b-eng.htm

Refugee Resettlement Program History

-       1978: The Immigration Act came into force, which recognized refugees as their own group of immigrants and was meant to fulfill Canada’s legal duties to the UNHCR. It also created a refugee determination system.

-       1979: 1.5 million left their homes and became refugees during the Southeast Asian refugee crisis. The Canadian government decided to accept 50,000 refugees.

-       1980: Canada launched the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.

-       1985: The Canadian Supreme Court rendered the Singh decision, which made necessary an oral hearing while determining the status of a refugee.

-       1989: The Immigration Act was modified to create a new determination system. The Immigration and Refugee Board was created.

-       1993: Canada became the first country to create Guidelines of Women Refugee Claimants fearing Gender-related Persecution.

-       2002: The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act came into force[i].

-       2013: The Blended Visa Office-Referred Program was created.[ii].


[i] http://ccrweb.ca/sites/ccrweb.ca/files/static-files/canadarefugeeshistory6.htm

[ii] http://www.cic.gc.ca/ENGLISH/refugees/canada.asp

Refugee Resettlement Program Funding

GAR Program and Joint Assistance Scholarship Program

These programs receive funding from the Resettlement Assistance Program, which receives its money from Citizen and Immigration Canada[i]. This program provides financial support for the first year of a refugee’s time in Canada, as well as essential services during the first month or so after a refugee has arrived.

           

            The Private Sponsorship of Refugees

This program receives its funding from private sponsors.

           

            The Blended Visa Office-Referred Program

The Blended Visa Office-Referred Program receives funding from a combination of private sponsors and Citizen and Immigration Canada. Both are required to provide funding for six months, though the private sponsor provides immediate and essential support[ii]. CIC provides funding through the Resettlement Assistance Program[iii]


[i] http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/content/lop/ResearchPublications/2015-11-e.html

[ii] http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/content/lop/ResearchPublications/2015-11-e.html[iii] http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/sponsor/vor.asp

Resettlement Data 2002-2014

In the 2014 data, figures between 1 and 4 have been replaced with an asterisk (*). These represent situations where the figures are being kept confidential to protect the anonymity of individuals. Such figures are not included in any totals.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN                                        # SETTLED 2002-2014

Afghanistan

2159

Albania

5

Algeria

26*

Angola

75

Armenia

9

Egypt

746

Australia

1

Argentina

1

Azerbaijan

125

Burundi

2405

Belarus

11

Bangladesh

9*

Benin

9

Bhutan

6116

Brazil

1

Bosnia and Herzegovina

227

Botswana

5

Burkina Faso

1

Cambodia

12

Chad

101

China

167

China, Hong Kong

1

Cameroon

51

Central African Rep.

300

Congo

281*

Dem. Rep. of the Congo

8626

Colombia

13871

Comoros

1

Costa Rica

4

Cuba

87

Dominican Rep.

1

Djibouti

17

Ecuador

158

Equatorial Guinea

12

Eritrea

8005

Ethiopia

9887

France

1

Gambia

7

Palestinian

120

Gabon

1

Guatemala

90

Palestinian

63

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

4*

Georgia

27

Ghana

16*

Greece

10*

Guinea

13*

Haiti

124

Croatia

119

CÌ«te d'Ivoire

162

India

354

Indonesia

164*

Iran (Islamic Rep. of)

6770

Iraq

27170

Ireland

1

Israel

36*

Italy

1

Jamaica

14*

Jordan

40

Kazakhstan

33

Kenya

73

Kuwait

2*

Kyrgyzstan

124

Lao People's Dem. Rep.

27

Liberia

1818

Libya

20

Saint Lucia

*

Lebanon

111

Sri Lanka

660

The former Yugoslav Rep. of Macedonia

4

Madagascar

14

Mauritania

160*

Mali

3

Malawai

1

Malaysia

21

Mexico

4

Rep. of Moldova

5

Montenegro

4

Morocco

16

Myanmar

7186

Nepal

50

Nicaragua

1

Nigeria

93

Oman

1

Namibia

*

Pakistan

1320

Philippines

6*

Poland

1

Qatar

1

Romania

3

Russian Federation

742

Rwanda

1452

El Salvador

32

Saudi Arabia

14*

Senegal

2*

Sierra Leone

1295

Somalia

9820

South Africa

10

Serbia and Kosovo (S/RES/1244 (1999))

632

Viet Na,

347

Stateless

735

South Sudan

21

Sudan

6781

Sweden

1

Syrian Arab Rep.

1248

United Rep. of Tanzania

20*

Thailand

26

Tajikistan

103

Turkimenistan

47

Togo

295

Tunisia

11

Turkey

38*

Uganda

150

United Arab Emirates

6

Ukraine

49

United States

11

Uruguay

*

Uzbekistan

386*

Various/unknown

4088*

Venezuela

13

Yemen

44

Zambia

6*

Zimbabwe

54

Asylum Seekers Recognized

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN

2012

2013

2014

TOTAL

Aruba

*

*

Afghanistan

302

275

396*

973*

Angola

10

6

6*

22*

Albania

63

107

145*

315*

United Arab Emirates

4

1

*

5*

Argentina

2

1

*

3*

Armenia

12

7

12*

31*

Antigua and Barbuda

12

11

19*

42*

Australia

*

Austria

*

Azerbaijan

14

18

8

40

Burundi

155

140

71*

366*

Belgium

*

Benin

6

5

*

11*

Burkina Faso

8

13

*

21*

Bangladesh

30

54

235*

319*

Bulgaria

20

21

*

41*

Bahrain

3

10

5

18

Bahamas

9

11

11*

31*

Bosnia and Herzegovina

7

0

*

7*

Belarus

8

8

*

16*

Belize

4

0

6

10

Bermuda

*

*

Bolivia (Plurinational State of)

5

1

*

6*

Brazil

1

13

*

14*

Barbados

21

17

13*

51*

Botswana

88

12

9*

109*

Central African Rep.

3

8

20

31

Switzerland

*

*

Chile

4

2

*

6*

China

626

536

14

1176

China

0

0

914

914

Côte d'Ivoire

42

29

32*

103*

Cameroon

100

70

145*

315*

Dem. Rep. of the Congo

290

211

142*

643*

Congo

42

11

46*

99*

Colombia

482

386

406*

1274*

Comoros

0

1

*

1*

Costa Rica

1

2

*

3*

Cuba

79

102

120*

301*

Cyrprus

*

*

Czech Rep.

25

25

19*

69*

Germany

*

Djibouti

117

53

121*

291*

Dominica

0

1

*

1*

Dominican Rep.

21

11

10*

42*

Algeria

57

65

61*

183*

Ecuador

6

2

*

8*

Egypt

89

247

288*

624*

Eritrea

154

158

203*

515*

Spain

2

0

*

2*

Estonia

5

0

0

5

Ethiopia

158

74

90*

322*

Finland

*

Fiji

*

France

1

1

*

2*

Gabon

8

2

*

10*

United Kingdom

2

2

*

10*

Georgia

25

22

36*

83*

Ghana

37

24

38*

99*

Guinea

68

31

64*

163*

Guadeloupe

*

Gambia

4

15

9*

28*

Guinea-Bissau

*

*

Equatorial Guinea

1

5

*

6*

Greece

1

4

*

5*

Grenada

5

5

6*

16*

Guatemala

74

40

41*

155*

Guyana

18

5

14*

37*

China, Hong Kong SAR

0

2

*

2*

Honduras

131

116

146*

393*

Croatia

23

51

40*

114*

Haiti

571

216

202*

989*

Hungary

448

406

340*

1194*

Indonesia

14

14

9*

37*

India

118

75

114*

307*

Ireland

*

*

Iran (Islamic Rep. of)

245

227

258*

730*

Iraq

90

113

333*

536*

Iceland

*

*

Israel

19

12

7

38

Italy

*

*

Jamaica

134

86

135*

355*

Jordan

17

43

40*

100*

Japan

0

1

*

1*

Kazakhstan

10

16

23*

49*

Kenya

51

22

32*

105*

Kyrgyzstan

7

5

*

12*

Cambodia

6

7

*

13*

Saint Kitts and Nevis

3

5

9*

17*

Rep. of Korea

9

6

5

20

Kuwait

17

10

24*

51*

Lao People's Dem. Rep.

0

3

*

3*

Lebanon

47

66

87*

200*

Liberia

15

5

*

20*

Libya

34

23

107*

164*

Saint Lucia

300

148

20*

468*

Sri Lanka

371

286

229*

886*

Lithuania

14

3

*

17*

Luxembourg

*

*

Latvia

23

11

7*

41*

Morocco

13

21

18*

52*

Rep. of Moldova

16

12

*

28*

Madagascar

1

0

5*

6*

Mexico

568

182

93*

843*

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

17

1

*

18*

Mali

7

13

21*

41*

Malta

*

*

Myanmar

0

4

*

4*

Montenegro

0

6

*

6*

Mongolia

6

15

27*

48*

Mauritania

17

16

9*

42*

Mauritius

1

0

*

1*

Malawi

4

2

*

6*

Malaysia

7

2

*

9*

Namibia

170

79

31*

280*

Niger

13

2

10*

25*

Nigeria

521

155

332*

1008*

Nicaragua

15

14

7

36

Netherlands

1

0

*

1*

Norway

*

*

Nepal

38

19

29*

86*

Oman

*

*

Pakistan

500

690

862*

2052*

Panama

1

6

*

7*

Peru

31

21

17*

69*

Philippines

11

6

9*

26*

Poland

24

6

9*

39*

Dem. People's Rep. of Korea

230

21

*

251*

Portugal

1

0

*

1*

Paraguay

*

*

Palestinian

26

16

49*

91*

Qatar

6

0

*

6*

Romania

39

40

8*

87*

Russian Federation

104

87

117*

308*

Rwanda

98

39

63*

200*

Saudi Arabia

6

20

31*

57*

Sudan

47

37

0

84*

Senegal

29

24

41*

94*

Singapore

3

1

*

4*

Solomon Islands

*

*

Sierra Leone

17

2

*

19*

El Salvador

188

136

126*

450*

Somalia

354

198

189*

741*

Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon

*

*

Serbia and Kosovo (S/RES/1244 (1999))

40

32

23*

95*

Slovakia

*

*

Slovenia

3

0

*

3*

Sweden

0

0

*

*

Swaziland

*

*

Syrian Arab Rep.

155

440

685*

1280*

Turks and Caicos Islands

*

*

Chad

17

10

40*

67*

Togo

11

8

13*

32*

Thailand

4

0

*

4*

Tajikistan

6

5

7*

18*

Turkmenistan

2

0

*

2*

Trinidad and Tobago

10

7

8*

25*

Tunisia

22

21

40*

83*

Turkey

162

188

167*

517*

United Rep. of Tanzania

11

8

15*

34*

Uganda

47

25

27*

99*

Ukraine

72

55

27*

154*

United States of America

5

3

*

8*

Uzbekistan

24

13

27*

64*

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

308

105

45*

458*

Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)

74

36

90*

200*

Viet Nam

8

3

*

11*

Stateless

0

0

24*

24*

Various/Unknown

6

17

5*

28*

Yemen

14

20

21*

55*

South Africa

3

0

*

3*

Zambia

2

0

*

2*

Zimbabwe

32

33

55*

120*

Top Five Resettlement Destinations

City (# of Refugees Settled since Nov 4, 2015[i]; City Population as of 2011; Refugee Percentage of Total Population)

1.     Toronto (4,285; 2.79 million[ii]; 0.15%)

2.     Vancouver (1,952; 603,502[iii]; 0.32%)

3.     Ottawa (1,829; 870,250[iv]; 0.21%)

4.     Calgary (1,676; 1,363,600[v]; 0.12%)

5.     Edmonton (1,635; 812,201[vi]; 0.2%)


[i] http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/welcome/map.asp

[ii]http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=dbe867b42d853410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

[iii] http://vancouver.ca/news-calendar/population.aspx

[iv] http://ottawa.ca/en/long-range-financial-plans/economy-and-demographics/population

[v] http://www.calgaryeconomicdevelopment.com/research-and-reports/demographics-lp/demographics/

[vi] https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/dp-pd/prof/details/page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=CSD&Code1=4811061&Geo2=PR&Code2=48&Data=Count&SearchText=Edmonton&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=All&GeoLevel=PR&GeoCode=4811061

Refugee Resettlement Diagram

Refugee Resettlement Overview

The Government Assisted Refugee Program and Joint Assistance Sponsorship

The Government-Assisted Refugee Program and the Joint Assistance Sponsorship differ only in who supports the settlement of the refugees. The GAR Program has refugees’ settlement supported by the Resettlement Assistance Program[i]. The Resettlement Assistance Program is provided by the government for members of Convention Refugees Abroad Class. This program provides payment for pick-up at the airport or arrival spot, temporary accommodations and the search for permanent accommodations, basic household items, and to help the refugee acclimate to life in Canada. The funds are available only for the refugee’s first year[ii]. Individuals are referred to the GAR Program by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The program is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), and provides health insurance in the form of basic coverage, supplemental coverage, and prescription drug coverage. The Joint Assistance Sponsorship reflects the GAR Program in almost every way, but the refugee’s settlement is supported by private sponsors rather than the Resettlement Assistance Program. The Joint Assistance Sponsorship is available mainly for refugees with special needs who require more support than the GAR Program is able to give.[iii] Government assisted refugees usually take about 19 months to process.

 

            The Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program

The Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program has less involvement from governmental and international entities. Refugees are recommended by private sponsors. The program is funded exclusively by private sponsors. Refugees are provided with basic health insurance coverage, as well as with “Public Health or Public Safety Prescription Drug Coverage”. This program allows the government to resettle more refugees without increasing costs, as refugees under this program are funded through private expenditures. Since 2014, this program has been resettling more refugees than the GAR Program. Private sponsors can be Sponsorship Agreement Holders, incorporated groups who have agreed with CIC to sponsor refugees, five permanent residents of Canada, and community sponsors. Processing times for privately sponsored refugees is generally between 52-68 months, although refugees from certain countries, the United Arab Emirates for example, can take as little as ten months.

 

            The Blended Visa-Office Referred Program

The Blended Visa Office-Referred Program accepts referrals from the UNHCR and is funded in part by CIC and in part by the private sponsor. Each provides six months of support, though the private sponsor is required to fund start-up costs. Settlement support comes solely from private sponsors, and the refugee receives basic health coverage, supplemental health coverage, and prescription drug coverage. This program is the product of an agreement between CIC, private sponsors, and the UNHCR, and has replaced 1,000 GAR Program spots since its creation in 2013.[iv]

 

            The In-Canada Asylum Program

Canada also provides a refugee protection program for those seeking protection from within Canada[v]. The In-Canada Asylum Program allows people already in Canada to receive asylum, but those with serious criminal records and those who have been denied once before are not able to make a claim.[vi] For protected persons and convention refugees in Canada, the initial assessment usually takes about 9 months, followed by a 10-month period to gain final approval.


[i] http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/content/lop/ResearchPublications/2015-11-e.html

[ii] http://www.cic.gc.ca/ENGLISH/refugees/outside/index.asp

[iii] http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/content/lop/ResearchPublications/2015-11-e.html

[iv] http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/content/lop/ResearchPublications/2015-11-e.html

[v] http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/canada.asp

[vi] http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/canada.asp

Lead Resettlement Organizations

Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR)[i]

Established: 1978

Funding: Donations, membership fees, etc

Office location: Montréal, Québec, H2S 2T1

Responsibilities and Functions:

The CCR is an umbrella non-profit that works to promote the rights of refugees. It manages relations with the government and media, as well as with research and education, to advocate for refugees. It also holds conferences and other public events to allow networking.

Leadership & Contacts

Executive Director: Janet Dench

Communication and Membership Coordinator: Damiano Raveenthiran

Settlement Policy Director: Marisa Berry Mendez

 

The Canadian Refugee Sponsorship Agreement Holders Association[ii]

Established: 2011

Funding: Private sponsors 

Responsibilities and Functions:

This program is a national membership association that acts as a voice for those involved in the Private Sponsorship of Refugee Program


[i] http://ccrweb.ca/en/about-ccr

[ii] http://www.sahassociation.com/



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