Canada has a long-standing tradition of helping those most in need. Presently, community groups in Canada are being encouraged to consider sponsoring refugees to come to Canada according to Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

Canadian groups who commit to sponsoring refugees agree to provide financial assistance for 12 months or until the refugees can support themselves financially, whichever comes first. This assistance includes clothing, accommodation and food. Beyond providing for their basic needs, sponsors also offer emotional support and friendship to the refugees for the duration of the sponsorship period, and often the friendship extends beyond the sponsorship period.

The Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program has received more than 200,000 refugees from all over the world, in addition to the number of refugees resettled through the Government-Assisted Refugees Program.

The Balanced Refugee Reform Act came into effect earlier this summer with the mandate to increase the number of resettled refugees per year by 20%, which creates 2,000 more openings in the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.

Minister Kenney has travelled to Vancouver, Kitchener and Toronto so far this summer specifically to meet with community groups in order to promote the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.

Canada has one of the world’s largest refugee resettlement programs and this reflects how Canadians value the country’s humanitarian tradition of offering protection to the displaced and persecuted.