Liberal candidates offering leadership on Syrian refugee crisis

SCARBOROUGH, ON – Today, Liberal candidates John McCallum, Arnold Chan, Jane Philpott, Arif Virani, Ahmed Hussen, and Gary Anandasangaree held a roundtable at the Canadian Centre for Refugees and Immigrant Health Care about their concrete plan to help those fleeing the civil war in Syria.

“Canadians around the country – from our premiers and mayors, to non-governmental organizations, to private citizens – have already taken swift action to help alleviate the suffering of many Syrian refugees,” said Liberal candidate for Markham–Thornhill, John McCallum. “Since March, Justin Trudeau has called on Stephen Harper to accept 25,000 government-sponsored refugees, and just last week, Mr. Trudeau openly called on the other party leaders to meet in order to coordinate immediate action on this crisis.”

As the candidates outlined, a Liberal government will:

  • Expand Canada’s intake to 25,000 refugees from Syria through immediate, direct sponsorship by the Government of Canada. We will also work with private sponsors to intake even more;
  • Invest at least an additional $100 million this fiscal year to increase – without reducing standards – refugee processing, as well as sponsorship and settlement services capacity in Canada; and
  • Provide an immediate $100 million new contribution to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to support the critical relief activities in Syria and the surrounding area.

“It is time for action at the federal level. The government can, and must, do more to offer safe haven to the Syrian men, women, and children who so desperately need it. Canadians know that this is a time for collaboration and not partisanship,” said Liberal candidate for Markham–Stouffville, Dr. Jane Philpott. “Leading this country means bringing people together with hope for the future. We have a responsibility to significantly expand our refugee targets and give more victims of war a safe haven in Canada.”