Trudeau to give 5,000 visas to Palestinian refugees for resettlement in Canada

41 people from Gaza have arrived in Canada thus far.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
On Monday, the Trudeau Liberals revealed that they had decided to quintuple the number of visas they would be issuing to people in Gaza with family members in Canada. A total of 5,000 temporary resident visas will be granted to those fleeing the war-torn territory, far more than the original 1,000 announced in December.

"Many people are worried about their loved ones and have expressed significant interest in the temporary special measures we introduced for their extended family in Gaza," Immigration Minister Marc Miller wrote in a statement.

"That is why, as part of our humanitarian response, we have increased the number of temporary resident visa applications that will be accepted into processing as part of these measures from 1,000 to 5,000. Over the past few weeks, we have been issuing more web codes so that clients can apply for a temporary resident visa." He noted that, "while movement out of Gaza is not currently possible, the situation may change at any time," adding that, "our focus remains on keeping families together."

"Canada continues to put forward the names of those who have passed preliminary screening to local authorities to secure their exit from Gaza," Miller continued. "Israel and Egypt are both important partners in implementing these temporary, humanitarian measures and helping people reunite with their family in Canada. Canada is working—at every level—to facilitate the exit of extended family members and advocate for their safety."

Those selected undergo a multi-stage vetting process which begins with an initial screening while they are still in Gaza. They are then subject to biometric, security, and admissibility screenings in a third country. 

"Only applicants who pass full bioetric, security, and admissibility screening will be allowed to travel onward to Canada," immigration department spokesperson Matthew Krupovich told the National Post, noting that "only Government Canada officials" can make the final call.

A spokesperson for Miller's office told CTV News that as of Monday, 448 Gazans had been offered temporary resident visas, 254 of which were outside the special visa program. 41 people from Gaza have arrived in Canada thus far.

Over the weekend, Israel carried out an offensive on Rafah to rid the region of Hamas terrorists. The area is where the border crossing between Gaza and Israel is, which Egypt has kept closed to refugees. The US has been trying to negotiate with Egypt to open the crossing to allow humanitarian aid in. Arab neighbors in the region have been unwilling to take in large numbers of Palestinian refugees.

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said she was "horrified" by the airstrikes, namely that which sparked a fire in a camp. "This level of human suffering must come to an end," she said. "We demand an immediate ceasefire."

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