Syrian refugee crisis

  • October 20, 2015

The images of Syrian refugees streaming across borders carrying everything they hold dear, sleeping rough, overwhelming the infrastructure of the countries in their lines of flight – and sometimes dying in the attempt to find safety – have resonated deeply with Canadians.

Acting on concerns expressed by the CBA National Immigration Law Section, CBA President Janet Fuhrer wrote to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander asking that the government expedite the processing of refugee claims, and offering assistance from section members to that end. In mid-September, the government announced it would fast-track 10,000 refugees by September 2016.

The Immigration Law Section has started a database of lawyers offering their services pro bono to refugees.

On Sept. 23, a joint effort including CBA lawyers working in cooperation with the University of Ottawa’s Refugee Hub, was announced to provide assistance, free of charge, to help Canadians and permanent residents in Canada who wish to sponsor Syrian refugees.

Here’s how you can help.

If you wish to offer your services as an immigration lawyer, please contact the CBA Immigration Law Section, so we can add your name the list.

For information on sponsorship, please visit the sponsorship page on the University of Ottawa’s Refugee Hub’s website.

If you’re looking for a lawyer offering pro bono assistance, please check the list on the University of Ottawa’s Refugee Hub’s website.

As individuals, we can also choose to make a financial contribution. The federal government will match individual donations to registered Canadian charities aiding refugees in Syria up to $100 million. Here is a list of registered charities accepting donations, please let us know if there’s an organization we can add:

Here is more information on the federal government’s Syrian Emergency Relief Fund.