Syrian Refugees Horizontal Initiative

General information

Name of horizontal initiative

Syrian Refugee Crisis: Resettlement of 25,000 Syrian refugees by February 29, 2016, and 25,000 (in total) government-supported Syrian refugees by December 31, 2016 (Syrian refugee initiative).

Lead department

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Federal partner departments

In 2018–19, IRCC and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) were the only federal departments to receive funding for the remaining activities related to this initiative.

In previous years (2015–16 to 2017–18), departments involved in the activities included:

Additional departments involved in the initiative funded through existing programs:

Non-federal and non-governmental partners

Start date of the horizontal initiative

November 2015

End date of the horizontal initiative

March 2019

Description of the horizontal initiative

In response to the ongoing conflict in Syria, which has displaced millions of Syrians, the Government of Canada committed to resettling an initial 25,000 Syrian refugees between November 4, 2015 and February 29, 2016, followed by an additional 10,000 by the end of 2016. This report is focused on the original 25,000 commitment and subsequent 2016 commitment.

This initiative is comprised of five phases. The first four phases were completed in previous years, and only the fifth phase was ongoing into 2018–19:

  1. Identifying Syrian refugees to come to Canada
  2. Processing Syrian refugees overseas
  3. Transportation to Canada
  4. Welcoming Syrian refugees to Canada
  5. Settlement and community integration

All Canadian government departments involved in the initiative supported IRCC and the CBSA in identifying, processing, transporting and admitting immigrants to Canada. During the first four phases, IRCC was responsible for working with international organizations to identify Syrian refugees overseas; processing refugees for permanent residency through the Government-Assisted Refugee, Blended Visa Office-Referred Refugee and Privately Sponsored Refugee programs; performing biometric screening; conducting and assessing immigration medical exams as well as performing visual health checks prior to departure; and conducting immigration interviews. During Phase 5, IRCC responsibilities included reimbursing expenses related to medical care through the Interim Federal Health Program, and continuing to support the settlement and integration of individuals in cooperation with provinces/territories, municipalities and other partners. The initiative links to IRCC’s Core Responsibility: Immigrant and Refugee Selection and Integration.

The CBSA’s role included working with airline officials to conduct passenger assessments and document verification; liaising with foreign border authorities and transporters to ensure compliance with foreign exit requirements; confirming identity and travel documents of migrants at Canadian ports of entry; and investigating and seeking admissibility determination. The CBSA’s role in Phase 5 continues and includes detaining and removing any refugees who are deemed inadmissible as well as undertaking any necessary arrangements to enforce removal orders if required.

Other federal departments were involved in the initiative’s first four phases and their participation ended with the arrival of all Syrian refugees in Canada.

Collaboration among federal, provincial/territorial and municipal governments, other government departments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, advocacy groups and Canadians in response to the Syrian crisis was unprecedented. IRCC is working with international partners, provinces and territories, sponsorship agreement holders and community organizations to continue resettling Syrian refugees to Canada.

Governance structures

The oversight, execution, monitoring and reporting of this horizontal initiative is undertaken under the direction of various committees, subcommittees, working groups, councils and operations centres, including the Government Operations Centre.

As the lead federal department, IRCC is responsible for the overall coordination of refugee resettlement efforts, overall performance measurement reporting and establishment of proper linkages to settlement partners overseas and in Canada.

Total federal funding allocated (from start to end date) (dollars)

$959,908,977

Total federal planned spending to date (dollars)

$923,271,147

Total federal actual spending to date (dollars)

$723,164,668

Date of last renewal of the horizontal initiative

Not applicable

Total federal funding allocated at the last renewal, and source of funding (dollars)

Not applicable

Additional federal funding received after the last renewal (dollars)

Not applicable

Funding contributed by non-federal and non-governmental partners (dollars)

Sponsorship agreement holders support refugees for a year after their arrival in Canada.

Fiscal year of planned completion of next evaluation

In June 2019, IRCC published the Syrian Outcomes Report which pulls together the latest available data and academic research findings on Syrian refugee outcomes, as well as situational context on the results. The report was developed using a variety of sources, including the Department’s settlement service data system (iCARE), the 2018 Newcomers Survey (Settlement Program clients and Settlement Program non-clients), Statistics Canada tax data, and research funded by the Department and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Shared outcome of federal partner departments

This initiative has four shared outcomes:

  1. Syrian refugees are granted protection in Canada and become permanent residents.
  2. Syrian refugees benefit from Canada’s social, health and economic systems and integrate into Canadian society.
  3. Canada upholds its international humanitarian reputation by demonstrating to the world that it has a shared responsibility to help people who are displaced and persecuted.
  4. The health, safety and security of Canadians are protected through rigorous screening of refugees overseas and upon arrival

Performance indicators

Outcome 1 - Syrian refugees are granted protection in Canada and become permanent residents

I 1.1 - Number of Syrian refugees who arrived in Canada as permanent residents within the stated timelines

Outcome 2 - Syrian refugees benefit from Canada’s social, health and economic systems and integrate into Canadian society

I 2.1 - Percentage of adult Syrian refugees who accessed settlement services

I 2.2 - Percentage of adult Syrian refugees who have access to medical care

I 2.3 - Percentage of adult Syrian refugees who are employed

I 2.4 - Percentage of adult Syrian refugees who have a strong sense of belonging

I 2.5 - Percentage of adult Syrians who obtained Canadian citizenship

Outcome 3 - Canada upholds its international humanitarian reputation by demonstrating to the world that it has a shared responsibility to help people who are displaced and persecuted

I 3.1 - Proportion of worldwide identified resettled Syrian refugees assisted by Canada

Outcome 4 - The health, safety and security of Canadians are protected through rigorous screening of refugees overseas and upon arrival

I 4.1 - Percentage of Syrian refugee applicants found to be inadmissible (refusal rate)

I 4.2 - Number of refugees removed from Canada due to identification of post-arrival inadmissibility causes (related to investigations, hearings, detentions, removals)

Targets

Outcome 1 - Syrian refugees are granted protection in Canada and become permanent residents

T 1.1 - 25,000 Syrian refugees landed by February 29, 2016. An additional 10,000 Syrian refugees landed by December 31, 2016

Outcome 2 - Syrian refugees benefit from Canada’s social, health and economic systems and integrate into Canadian

T 2.1 - 80% of Syrian refugees accessed at least one settlement service

T 2.2 - 65% of Syrian refugees know how to access medical care

T 2.3 - 50% of Syrian refugees are employed (2023)

T 2.4 - 80% of Syrian refugees have a sense of belonging at the two highest levels (4 and 5) on a scale of 1–5

T 2.5 - 75% of Syrian refugees obtain citizenship (by 2025)

Outcome 3 - Canada upholds its international humanitarian reputation by demonstrating to the world that it has a shared responsibility to help people who are displaced and persecuted

T 3.1 - 50% in 2016 and 40% in 2015 of worldwide identified resettled Syrian refugees assisted by Canada

Outcome 4 - The health, safety and security of Canadians are protected through rigorous screening of refugees overseas and upon arrival

Setting specific targets for inadmissibility and criminal investigations and enforcement is not consistent with the Government of Canada’s ultimate humanitarian commitment to safely resettling Syrian refugees to Canada. The government continues to monitor and manage information and data related to this initiative.

Data source and frequency of monitoring and reporting

Data sources: iCARE (Immigration Contribution Agreement Reporting Environment), 2018 Newcomers Survey (Settlement Program clients and Settlement Program non-clients)

Results

Outcome 1 - Syrian refugees are granted protection in Canada and become permanent residents

I 1.1 - Number of Syrian refugees who arrived in Canada as permanent residents within the stated timelines

Outcome 2: Syrian refugees benefit from Canada’s social, health and economic systems and integrate into Canadian society

I 2.1 - Percentage of adult Syrian refugees who accessed settlement services

I 2.2 - Percentage of Syrian refugees who have access to medical care

I 2.3 - Percentage of Syrian refugees who are employed

I 2.4 - Percentage of Syrian refugees who have a strong sense of belonging

I 2.5 - Percentage of Syrians who obtained Canadian citizenship

Outcome 3: Canada upholds its international humanitarian reputation by demonstrating to the world that it has a shared responsibility to help people who are displaced and persecuted

I 3.1 - Proportion of worldwide identified resettled Syrian refugees assisted by Canada

Outcome 4: The health, safety and security of Canadians are protected through rigorous screening of refugees overseas and upon arrival

I 4.1 - Percentage of Syrian refugee applicants found to be inadmissible (refusal rates)

I 4.2 - Number of refugees removed from Canada due to identification of post-arrival inadmissibility causes (related to investigations, hearings, detentions, removals)

Expected outcome of non-federal and non-governmental partners

The UNHCR is responsible for identifying and prioritizing vulnerable refugees who pose a low security risk and for contacting them to determine if they are interested in being resettled in Canada.

Non-federal and non-governmental partners also provide information and referral services to ongoing community supports such as language classes, translators, community-based mental health care, medical services and long-term accommodations.

Name of theme

Not applicable

Theme outcome

Not applicable

Theme performance indicator

Not applicable

Theme target

Not applicable

Theme data source and frequency of monitoring and reporting

Not applicable

Theme results

Not applicable

Performance highlights

The government is proud of Canada’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Although the government’s formal commitments have been achieved, Canada remains committed to resettling all refugee populations and continues to welcome both government-supported and privately sponsored refugees, including Syrians.

In response to the Auditor General’s Audit on Settlement Services for Syrian Refugees, a number of recommendations were made to ensure the success of the settlement of Syrian refugees. As such, IRCC has undertaken improvements to its programming by supporting SPOs’ capacity in the areas of volunteer coordination and by reducing the number of clients, including Syrian refugees, waiting for language training.

The Syrian Outcomes Report shows that Syrian refugee outcomes have been improving since arrival in Canada.

Some of the key 2018–19 are as follows:

Contact information

Assistant Deputy Minister
Settlement and Integration Sector
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Performance information

IRCC

Refugee Resettlement

Total allocation and spending: Refugee Resettlement
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
590,718,132 - -

Settlement

Total allocation and spending: Settlement
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
180,258,610 73,361,366 58,214,415
2018-19 Expected results:

Resettled Syrian refugees are linked to IRCC- and non-IRCC-funded services

Horizontal initiative activity: Needs Assessment

Resettled Syrian refugees are equipped with the knowledge and information needed to contribute to Canadian society

Horizontal initiative activity: All Settlement Services

Provision of information: Syrian clients increase knowledge of life in Canada

Horizontal initiative activity: Provision of Information

Provision of language training: Syrian clients improve official language skills

Horizontal initiative activity: Language Training Services

Provision of employment-related services: Syrian clients acquire knowledge, skills and connections to prepare for the Canadian labour market

Horizontal initiative activity: Employment-Related Services

Provision of community connection services: Syrian clients increase participation in communities and social networks

Horizontal initiative activity: Community Connection Service

Indirect Services

Indirect services: Partners deliver responsive and coordinated settlement and community services

Horizontal initiative activity: Indirect services

Internal Services

Total allocation and spending: Internal Services
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
20,119,959 - 30,125

CBSA (25,000 Refugees)

Intelligence Collection and Analysis

Total allocation and spending: Intelligence Collection and Analysis
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
6,494,988 194,424 -

Horizontal initiative activity: Identity Threats; Safe and secure integration of 10,000 / 25,000 Syrian refugees into Canadian society.

Targeting

Horizontal initiative activity: Identify High-Risk People / Goods; Reliable, accurate and actionable information and intelligence resulting in the interception of inadmissible people

Security Screening

Total allocation and spending: Security Screening
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
1,412,009 - -

Horizontal initiative activity: Targeting Intelligence Security Screening

Traveller Facilitation and Compliance

Total allocation and spending: Traveller Facilitation and Compliance
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
5,938,210 - -

Horizontal initiative activity: Regulatory compliance and enforcement

Criminal Investigations

2018-19 Expected results:

Ongoing criminal investigation related to Syria

Horizontal initiative activity: Investigate and prosecute

Immigration Investigations

Total allocation and spending: Immigration Investigations
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
2,323,021 286,027 -
2018-19 Expected results:

Immigration investigations are conducted against persons who are or may be inadmissible to Canada

Horizontal initiative activity: Investigate and prosecute

Hearings

Total allocation and spending: Hearings
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
1,442,188 249,724 -
2018-19 Expected results:

The CBSA will seek admissibility determinations of persons alleged to be inadmissible on the basis of national security, human rights violations or serious criminality

Horizontal initiative activity: Hold hearings for detainees

Detentions

Total allocation and spending: Detentions
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
1,945,701 896,707 -
2018-19 Expected results:

Persons that may pose a risk to the safety and security of Canada are detained

Horizontal initiative activity: Detaining individuals

Removals

Total allocation and spending: Removals
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
2,116,577 - -
2018-19 Expected results:

Timely removal of persons subject to an enforceable removal order

Horizontal initiative activity: Implementing removals

Internal Services

Total allocation and spending: Internal Services
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
4,748,006 1,046,414 -

CBSA (10,000 Refugees)

Intelligence Collection and Analysis

Total allocation and spending: Intelligence Collection and Analysis
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
2,069,431 - 81,909
2018-19 Expected results:

Safe and secure integration of 10,000 Syrian refugees into Canadian society

Horizontal initiative activity: Identify Threats

Targeting

2018-19 Expected results:

Reliable, accurate and actionable information and intelligence resulting in the interception of inadmissible people

Horizontal initiative activity: Identify High-Risk People / Goods

Security Screening

Total allocation and spending: Security Screening
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
418,283 - -
2018-19 Expected results:

Horizontal initiative activity: Targeting Intelligence Security Screening

Traveller Facilitation and Compliance

Total allocation and spending: Traveller Facilitation and Compliance
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
1,567,075 55,715 68,559
2018-19 Expected results:

Horizontal initiative activity: Regulatory compliance and enforcement

Criminal Investigations

Total allocation and spending: Criminal Investigations
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
342,528 171,264 -
2018-19 Expected results:

Ongoing criminal investigation related to Syria Operations

Horizontal initiative activity: Investigate and prosecute

Immigration Investigations

Total allocation and spending: Immigration Investigations
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
386,715 - -
2018-19 Expected results:

Immigration investigations are conducted against persons who are or may be inadmissible to Canada

Horizontal initiative activity: Investigate and prosecute

Hearings

Total allocation and spending: Hearings
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
248,155 101,103 -
2018-19 Expected results:

The CBSA will seek admissibility determinations of persons alleged to be inadmissible on the basis of national security, human rights violations or serious criminality

Horizontal initiative activity: Hold hearings for detainees

Detentions

Total allocation and spending: Detentions
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
172,016 - -
2018-19 Expected results:

Persons that may pose a risk to the safety and security of Canada are detained

Horizontal initiative activity: Detaining individuals

Removals

Total allocation and spending: Removals
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
557,550 50,430 -
2018-19 Expected results:

Timely removal of persons subject to an enforceable removal order

Horizontal initiative activity: Implementing removals

Internal Services

Total allocation and spending: Internal Services
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
305,476 18,843 -

Global Affairs Canada

Diplomacy, Advocacy and International Agreements

Total allocation and spending: Diplomacy, Advocacy and International Agreements
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
1,912,526 - -

Humanitarian Assistance

Total allocation and spending: Humanitarian Assistance
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
104,000,000 - -

Mission Network Governance, Strategic Direction and Common Services

Total allocation and spending: Mission Network Governance, Strategic Direction and Common Services
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
20,750,498 - -

Internal Services

Total allocation and spending: Internal Services
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
681,283 - -

Public Health Agency of Canada

Implementing the Quarantine Act; Supporting health infrastructure at ILSs; and Facilitating national coordination and public health support to provinces

Total allocation and spending: Implementing the Quarantine Act; Supporting health infrastructure at ILSs; and Facilitating national coordination and public health support to provinces
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
2,180,040 - -

Shared Services Canada

Distributed Computing Services

Total allocation and spending: Distributed Computing Services
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
1,277,650 - -

Production and Operations Computing Services (Data Centres)

Total allocation and spending: Production and Operations Computing Services (Data Centres)
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
2,641,262 - -

Telecommunications Services (Data, Voice and Video)

Total allocation and spending: Telecommunications Services (Data, Voice and Video)
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
2,769,452 - -

Internal Services

Total allocation and spending: Internal Services
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
111,636 - -

TOTAL

Total allocation and spending for all federal organizations
Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19 Actual spending (dollars)
959,908,977 76,432,017 58,395,008
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