National Newswatch

Canada has turned back 4,400 asylum seekers in 5 years

Nov 24 2020 — Kathleen Harris — Canada has turned away at least 4,400 asylum seekers at the U.S. border since 2016 — including some who were hoping to find refuge here at the height of the global pandemic — according to newly released government figures. Nearly half of those trying to enter Canada over that five-year period made the attempt in […]

Refugee advocates say Canada must step up resettlement efforts despite pandemic

Nov 12 2020 — Kathleen Harris — Advocates for refugees say the federal government must step up its efforts to help people fleeing conflict and persecution abroad — even as the pandemic continues to suppress cross-border movement around the world. The federal government says that, despite lockdowns and travel restrictions, Canada is now resettling about 250 refugees per week after admissions slowed […]

Federal government to announce new immigration targets today

Oct 30 2020 — Kathleen Harris — Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino will unveil a three-year immigration plan today that will set targets for bringing skilled workers, family members and refugees into Canada in the midst of a global pandemic. Last year’s plan promised to bring in more than one million immigrants over a three-year period, but the COVID-19 crisis and the resulting […]

Immigration lottery process opens today for parent, grandparent sponsorship

Oct 13 2020 — Kathleen Harris — Today marks a day of both hope and anxiety for immigrants desperate to bring their parents or grandparents to live permanently in Canada, as a controversial lottery process opens for family reunification. Beginning at 12 noon ET today, prospective sponsors can fill out an online form to express interest in sponsoring a relative, and they […]

Canadians have returned 830,000 pandemic benefit payments

Oct 4 2020 — Kathleen Harris — Canadians have made more than 830,000 repayments of COVID-19 emergency aid benefits to which they were not entitled – a statistic some say reflects mass confusion over fast-tracked federal programs. The figures provided to CBC News by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) include repayments from recipients of the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) and Canada […]

Canada signs deal to secure 20M more COVID-19 vaccine doses, though none have been proven successful yet

Sep 25 2020 — Kathleen Harris — Canada has signed an agreement to secure another 20 million vaccine doses as the global race for a COVID-19 vaccine intensifies. During a news conference in Ottawa today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a deal with AstraZeneca on access to a vaccine prospect now being developed at Oxford University. As a result, the federal government […]

Qualtrough urges opposition parties to swiftly approve new COVID-19 benefits

Sep 24 2020 — Kathleen Harris — The federal government tabled legislation today to provide what it’s calling a “safe bridge” for Canadians who are still experiencing lost income due to COVID-19. The proposed new suite of measures aims to transition people from the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) to an employment insurance program with expanded eligibility, or to one of three […]

Liberals promise to extend emergency COVID-19 supports, build national childcare program in throne speech

Sep 23 2020 — Kathleen Harris — The Liberal government is promising to extend emergency support for Canadians hit by the COVID-19 crisis while building a more resilient economy that empowers women, fights climate change and tackles systemic racism. It also says it plans to impose criminal penalties for those who neglect vulnerable, elderly Canadians after the pandemic exposed shocking gaps in […]

Federal COVID-19 supports for Canadians with disabilities are too little, too late, advocates say

Sep 18 2020 — Kathleen Harris — More than six months into the global pandemic, the Liberal government is being accused of failing to meet the needs of the Canadians with disabilities who number among those hardest-hit by the public health crisis. Marie-Claude Landry, chief commissioner of the Canada Human Rights Commission, said COVID-19 has “expanded the circle of vulnerability” in Canada […]

Trudeau urges Canadians to be vigilant as COVID-19 cases climb

Sep 14 2020 — Kathleen Harris — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is urging Canadians to be vigilant in following public health guidelines as COVID-19 cases climb across the country. Speaking with reporters before a two-day cabinet retreat in Ottawa, Trudeau warned that as the number of new infections rises, “we are not out of the woods” when it comes to the health […]