Jenny Kwan, who is a member of Parliament for Vancouver East and NDP critic of housing, immigration, refugees and citizenship, noted that the IHAP announcement is a good first step but highlighted the federal government’s lack of planning in the past.
“The federal government really needs to ensure that they’re working collaboratively with the provincial, municipal, and nonprofit organizations on the ground. And in particular, the NGOs. They’re the people who actually really know what’s going on,” says Kwan.
A report by the Committee on Citizenship and Immigration conducted at the House of Commons in November 2016 examined the federal government’s resettlement efforts of 25,000 Syrian refugees between November 4, 2015 and February 29, 2016.
The committee recommended for “Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada [to] work with its partners to develop an affordable housing strategy for newcomers, and that the government work with the provinces and settlement agencies.”
Kwan says the federal government did not implement the recommended measures, even after NGOs offered to partner. “History is repeating itself. We have a large number of asylum seekers coming to Canada — there’s no preparation for it,” she adds.