OTTAWA, Nov. 21, 2017 /CNW/ - Following the tabling of the 2017 Fall Reports of the Auditor General of Canada, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, issued the following statement:
"On behalf of my Department, I'd like to thank the Office of the Auditor General for its efforts in preparing this Report and I agree with its recommendations.
"As of July 31, 2017, Canada has welcomed nearly 48,000 Syrian refugees. I'm pleased that the Audit found that, overall, Syrian refugees received a wide variety of settlement services in their first year in Canada. A departmental evaluation earlier this year also showed that most Syrians are integrating well and are doing so at the same rate as other refugee groups have in the past.
"The successes we have seen so far in this unprecedented national effort are a result of the extraordinary partnerships and cooperation among organizations, businesses, various levels of government, many communities, and thousands of individual Canadians across the country.
"The Audit includes four recommendations. These relate to the timely transfer of funding to service providers, management of language training waitlists, service expectations in contribution agreements, and updates to the performance measurement strategy for the Syrian refugee initiative to ensure that the Department can fully and consistently monitor the integration of Syrian refugees in Canada.
"To address these recommendations, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has developed actions that will improve processes and services in collaboration with all our partners and stakeholders, particularly for urgent and unexpected programming needs such as the Syrian refugee initiative.
"This Report, as well as the collective work undertaken to resettle tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, has highlighted the importance of integration in building a strong society. This means that we need to support the full participation of newcomers in the economic, social, cultural, and civic life of Canada.
"That is why my Department has taken, and will continue to take action to ensure that all newcomers, including refugees, are able to access the services they need to integrate successfully in Canada, and that service provider organizations have the support they need to provide high-quality settlement services."
SOURCE Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
For further information: (media only): Hursh Jaswal, Minister's Office, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 613-954-1064; Media Relations, Communications Branch, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 613-952-1650, IRCC.COMMMediaRelations-RelationsmediasCOMM.IRCC@cic.gc.ca