(403) 346-8818 hello@rdlip.ca

Join us in welcoming newcomers to our community: FAQ

Refugees Welcome here!

Afghanistan is a country rich in history, culture and people. Its mountains are magnificent and it has long been a gateway between countries in Europe and Asia. The last four decades, however, have been fraught with conflict resulting in political instability, societal unrest, and the forced displacement of hundred of thousands of Afghans. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Afghanistan represents one of the largest most prolonged refugee situations in the world. Globally, more than 84 million people are forcibly displaced from their homes due to violence, insecurity and the effects of climate change.

Canada has one of the best refugee resettlement programs in the world. This year, Canada has pledged to resettle 40,000 Afghans to Canada.

What does it mean to be a refugee?

  • Refugees are people who have been forced to leave their country and who are afraid to return because of war, violence or persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.(3)

What is the current situation in Afghanistan?

  • 2.2 million refugees and people seeking asylum from Afghanistan are living in neighbouring countries (1)

  • More than 90% of Afghan refugees are hosted in Iran and Pakistan (1)

  • 2.9 million people are internally displaced within Afghanistan (1)

  • Women and children make up 80% of those displaced in Afghanistan (1)

  • More than 667,000 Afghans have been newly displaced this year and the numbers are growing (1)

Are Canadians supportive of resettling refugees?

  • A majority of Canadians support current levels of immigration, view immigrants as good for the Canadian economy, and believe immigrants are important for building the country’s population (2)

  • There is clear public support for the federal government decision to accept Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban (2)

  • 70% of Canadians agree that Canada should accept more immigrants from places experiencing major conflict (2)

  • Close to half (48%) define their country’s uniqueness in terms of its multiculturalism and the diversity of its people, a theme that encompasses acceptance of immigrants and refugees, tolerance of differences, and specific mention of Indigenous People’s and culture. (2)

  • 350 communities across Canada have welcomed 44,620 Syrian refugees since November 4, 2015, half of those were privately sponsored by local community groups.(4)

  • In 2019, 30,087 refugees were resettled in Canada, the highest number of any state worldwide (6)

  • Canada plans to accept 59,500 refugees and protected person in 2021, 60,500 in 2022 and 61,00 in 2023. This represents approximately 0.0016% of the Canadian population. (6)

What about newcomers, overall? Do Canadians support immigration?

  • Eight in ten Canadians agree with the statement that immigration has a positive economic impact (2)

  • Most Canadians agree that Canada needs more immigration to increase its population (2)

  • Canadians are almost four times as likely to say that immigration is making the country a better place (49%) than a worse one (13%). (2)

  • Canadians who believe immigrants make their country better (49% of the population) are most likely to say this is because it adds to Canada’s diversity and multiculturalism or because it benefits the economy (helps the economy grow, bringing their needed skills, and starting new businesses). (2)

How do newcomers benefit Canada?

  • Immigrants are usually found to have higher business ownership rates than the native-born population (5)

  • Recent Canadian research shows that economic class immigrants are more likely to own technology-based companies than Canadian-born business owners, possibly because they are considerably more likely to have a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) university degree (5)

  • 1 in 4 workers in Canada (26%) are immigrants (6)

  • Two out of three refugees become home owners after ten years and refugees have the highest citizenship update rate (89%) of all immigration categories. (6)

Facts cited above come from the following sources:

  1. UNHCR – Refugee Matters – Fall 2021 Newsletter

  2. Environics Institute: Focus Canada – Fall 2021. Canadian public opinion about immigration and refugees

  3. Government of Canada: Canada – A history of refuge

  4. Government of Canada: Welcome Syrian Refugees

  5. Statistics Canada: Immigrant and second-generation entrepreneurs in Canada: An intergenerational comparison of business ownership

  6. Government of Canada: 2020 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration

Learn more:

You can learn more about refugee issues through these great sources of information:

Amnesty International: Refugees, Asylum-Seekers and Migrants – https://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/refugees-asylum-seekers-and-migrants/

Conference Board of Canada: National Immigration Centre – https://www.conferenceboard.ca/nic/default.aspx

Human Rights Watch: Refugees and Migrants – https://www.hrw.org/topic/refugees-and-migrants

Ryerson University: CERC in Migration and Integration – https://www.ryerson.ca/cerc-migration/

Statistics Canada: Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity – https://www.statcan.gc.ca/en/subjects-start/immigration_and_ethnocultural_diversity

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – https://www.unhcr.ca

World Migration Report 2022 – https://worldmigrationreport.iom.int/wmr-2022-interactive/