Immigration in Canada: Some refugees’ housing situation dire



For hundreds of refugees, the prospect to come back to Canada is a dream, however for a lot too many who’re already right here, their situation has grown dangerously determined.

A Palestinian refugee stabbed herself in the abdomen, just under the ribcage, final week whereas in a gathering with a federal authorities official with Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Sitting on a park bench, a day after being launched from hospital, Aziz Abusirdana tells CTV News, “I put a knife in my body because no one cares. Seriously no one cares.”

For seven months she’s been caught, dwelling in a refugee lodge west of Toronto. She says she by no means meant to kill herself, however determined to stab herself in the abdomen to try to get the eye of the federal authorities and the settlement company which, for greater than half a yr, hasn’t been in a position to help her in discovering what she believes can be a protected place to stay.

Abusirdana believes the federal government has failed her. Exasperated, she says, “If you [the government] know that there’s no suitable place for me to stay why did you accept me to come [to Canada]?”

Raised in Gaza, Abusirdana’s younger life has been full of trauma. She claims her personal father and grandfather again dwelling in Palestine have threatened to search out her and kill her. The 22-year-old left dwelling and was on a scholarship from an Algerian college, however says she needed to drop out and flee to Canada amid fears that her family was monitoring her down with plans to homicide her.

Publicly, she doesn’t share what led to her situation along with her father and grandfather, however the incident has left her traumatized, alone and secluded in a brand new nation, and unable to belief anybody. Her request for housing is straight ahead: her personal bed room and loo with a lock on every door. And she will’t stay in a shared house with males.

She says she’s been proven nothing however insufficient flats. Sometimes she’s been proven the identical place twice. The $1,100 a month she receives from the federal government will run out in 5 months, and having sufficient cash to feed herself and put a roof over her head in Toronto’s purple scorching rental market, has restricted her choices.

Abusirdana says she even travelled to Ottawa to try to converse to Immigration Canada, however the journey resolved nothing.

“I was suffering in Palestine, I was suffering in Algeria, I didn’t think I’d suffer here in Canada,” admits the distraught girl.

CTV News requested Abusirdana if she was provided a therapist or psychologist to sit down down with after arriving in Canada. She says no, the one possibility introduced was to pay $150 per session out of pocket, which she couldn’t afford.

Abusirdana is the second refugee in a month to hurt themselves on the identical refugee lodge. In mid-October, a father from Afghanistan determined to stitch his lips collectively in protest.

He and his household of eight had been dwelling in the lodge ready for the federal government to ship their paperwork for greater than 12 months. A few weeks after he took the drastic step the federal authorities signed, sealed and despatched his household their papers.

One advocate is anxious that increasingly more refugees are going to hurt themselves in a determined cry for assist.

“This is what I’m worried about,” says refugee advocate Mona Elshayal. “It’s taking too long for people to find housing, and they really don’t have any hope. After months in a hotel with nowhere to go their mental health is rapidly deteriorating.”

These disturbing developments come as Canada’s Minister of Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada Sean Fraser introduced his authorities’s plan to plow ahead with its “ambitious” goal to deliver 40,000 refugees to Canada from Afghanistan. So far they’ve introduced over greater than half of their focused purpose.

At a press convention this week in Toronto Fraser proclaimed, “We’re going to continue to lead the world when it comes to refugee resettlement. In each of the past three years Canada has resettled more refugees than anywhere else in the world. In fact, Canada was responsible for more than one-third of the total number of refugees that were resettled in each of the last two years.”

But many newcomers who’ve spoken with CTV News during the last a number of months say that you could’t name it resettlement if you’ve left numerous refugees stranded at a lodge on Canadian soil for six to 12 months, with no dwelling and no papers, unable to work, go to high school, or pay taxes.

As an advocate, Elshayal says she helps Canada’s efforts to deliver refugees right here, however not in the event that they’re being “re-traumatized” by a “broken system.”

Elshayal believes “the program needs to be re-evaluated, they should consider taking the families to smaller communities where they would have the support and ability to live on the financial assistance that’s given to them. We need to provide mental health support because every single one of them needs its.”

The long-time advocate additionally factors the blame on the companies employed by the federal authorities to resettle newcomers.

An group known as Polycultural has been put in cost at Abuirdana’s lodge west of Toronto. Multiple CTV News investigations have uncovered a number of reported points with how Polycultural has been dealing with the refugees in its care at this location.

The resettlement company’s govt director, Marwan Ismail, was additionally on the assembly with a supervisor from the IRCC when Abuirdana stabbed herself in the stomach final week.

In an e-mail, Ismail advised CTV News, “We were shocked and saddened at what happened during our meeting with Aziza last week. Since then, we have scheduled a follow-up meeting with her to offer mental health support while we continue working to find her a suitable home.”

Advocate Elshayal was additionally on the assembly, after Abuirdana requested she attend.

“She (Aziza Abuirdana) stood up during the meeting, she got very frustrated. I tried to talk to her, but she looked away and said something under her breath, then she took the knife out of her pocket and plunged it into her stomach.”

Continuing her recollection, Elshayal stated, “She fell to the bottom; I instantly went down and appeared for one thing to place stress on the wound and I requested the individual from Polycultural to name 911.

“I could sense that every time we met that she was getting more and more frustrated. I’ve spoken with Polycultural and the IRCC about the mental health situation in the hotel.”

Doctors have advised Abuirdana she’s lucky that the knife didn’t go deeper into her abdomen. The 22-year-old says she has the identical hopes and desires of anybody her age.

“I’d like to complete my education. I want to work and have a nice job, and have the chance to live a life. I deserve a chance to life but right now there’s nothing.”

If you or somebody you already know is in disaster, listed here are some assets which can be out there.

Canada Suicide Prevention Helpline (1-833-456-4566)

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (1 800 463-2338)

Crisis Services Canada (1-833-456-4566 or textual content 45645)

Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868)

If you want speedy help name 911 or go to the closest hospital.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here