Ottawa, June 20, 2020—The Honourable Marco E.L. Mendicino, M.P., P.C., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Karina Gould, M.P., Minister of International Development today issued the following statement:

“For generations, Canada has been a strong and unwavering voice of support for refugees. Our country is known around the world as a welcoming place for those fleeing conflict and persecution.

“World Refugee Day is an opportunity for all of us to recognize the difficulties refugees face, and the profound courage they demonstrate in searching for a new beginning. It is a moment to celebrate the incredible contributions that refugees have made to Canada, especially during times like these.

“But it is also a moment to reflect on where we have failed those in direst need in the past—like those on board the Komagata Maru and the M.S. St. Louis—that these events may never happen again.

“As we look to the future, many things will be different, but the warm, welcoming nature of Canadians is a constant. That core value led Canada to again lead the world in refugee resettlement, which would not have been possible without the compassion of Canadians who have opened their doors to newcomers.

“This year has been one of unprecedented change and the spread of COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our way of life.  Nevertheless, we remain dedicated to providing protection to refugees, including women and girls, children, LGBTI persons, and other marginalized and targeted groups.

“Through our humanitarian assistance, we also continue to support refugees in the countries generously hosting them. To date, Canada has provided $9 million, on top of regular investments, to the UN Refugee Agency as part of Canada’s humanitarian assistance response to COVID-19. 

“On World Refugee Day we remind ourselves that Canada is still a place that can and should inspire hope for refugees seeking protection from intolerance, oppression and harm.”