What is this research about?
This primer is intended to provide basic information on the history and legacy of refugee resettlement in Canada and to highlight Ottawa’s role in these efforts. It contains basic facts about refugees and Canadian refugee policy, a brief timeline of refugee resettlement in Canada, highlights from Ottawa’s history of refugee resettlement, and a myth buster intended to dispel some of the misconceptions about refugees and refugee resettlement history in Canada.
What do you need to know?
The primer provides a useful snapshot and overview of basic definitions about refugees and their rights, as well as the refugee process in Canada, and a history of refugee resettlement interventions, both formal (through funded agencies) and informal (private/community resettlement efforts).
What did the researchers do?
The primer is a combination of news/media and literature review complemented by interviews with significant actors in refugee resettlement in Ottawa.
What did the researchers find?
The primer provides a global overview of refugee statistics as of 2016, including specific numbers about Syrian refugees arriving in Canada and, specifically, Ottawa. There is a section aimed at dispelling common myths about refugees, refugee protection, and supports refugees get in Canada. The core of the primer provides a historical overview of refugee policy and resettlement in Canada, leading up to the arrival of Syrian refugees starting in 2015. The primer also provides a historical overview of informal (community) and formal (funded) resettlement, inclusion, and support interventions in Canada and those specific to Ottawa.
How can you use this research?
The primer provides a useful model for other communities to outline and document local refugee resettlement interventions and place them within the Canadian context. It includes an overview of Canada's formal commitments to refugee resettlement, as well as the importance of both informal and formal supports and mechanisms to create welcoming and inclusive communities. The primer's format could be replicated quite easily in any community, borrowing sections such as The Basics, Refugees by the Numbers, and Brief Timeline of Refugee Policy and Resettlement in Canada, complemented by interviews with local refugee resettlement actors to provide additional local context and highlights of unique local efforts and interventions.