“Refugees are people who have fled their countries because of a well-founded fear of persecution. They are not able to return home. They have seen or experienced many horrors. A refugee is different from an immigrant. An immigrant is a person who chooses to settle permanently in another country. Refugees are forced to flee.” — How Canada’s refugee system works, Government of Canada.
This collection focuses on the experiences lived by refugees and asylum seekers adjusting to life in Canada while also examining the ambivalence felt on the issue by some Canadians. A September 2018 survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center found that three out of four Canadians support taking in refugees — numbers that place Canada among the world’s most welcoming nations on the question of people fleeing violence and war. However, a July 2018 Angus Reid poll suggests a majority of Canadians believe irregular migration into the country has reached a crisis point. The poll found that 65 per cent of Canadians believe there are “too many” people claiming asylum by irregular means for authorities and service providers to handle.