Horizontal initiatives

General information

Name of horizontal initiative

Syrian Refugee Crisis: Resettlement of 25,000 Syrian refugees by February 29, 2016, and an additional 10,000 government-assisted Syrian refugees by December 31, 2016 (Syrian Refugee Initiative)

Lead department(s)

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Federal partner organization(s)

In 2018–19, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is the other federal partner that received funding for remaining activities related to this initiative.

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

  • Global Affairs Canada
  • Shared Services Canada
  • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Department of National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
  • Public Safety Canada
  • Public Services and Procurement Canada
  • Transport Canada

Additional departments involved in the initiative funded through existing programs:

  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development
  • Employment and Social Development Canada

Non-federal and non-governmental partner(s)

  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees/UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
  • Other state governments, particularly those of Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan
  • International Organization for Migration
  • Canadian Red Cross
  • Community of private sponsor organizations and private sponsors, including the Sponsorship Agreement Holder Council
  • Resettlement service provider organizations
  • Various communities of settlement/resettlement service provider organizations (SPOs)
  • Corporate private sector donors
  • Municipal governments
  • Provincial and territorial governments

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 more than 40,000 Syrian refugees. An initial 25,000 Syrian refugees arrived between November 4, 2015 and February 29, 2016, followed by an additional 10,000 by the end of 2016. Between November 2015 and December 2017, approximately 51,000 Syrian refugees were admitted to Canada.

This initiative comprised of five phases. The first four listed here were completed in previous years, and only the fifth phase is 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 include reimbursing expenses related to medical care through the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP); and continuing to support the settlement and integration of individuals in cooperation with provinces/territories, municipalities and other partners. The initiative links to the 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 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)

$727,926,713

Total federal actual spending to date (dollars)

$539,106,122

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 after their arrival in Canada for a year.

Fiscal year of planned completion of next evaluation

Under the new Policy on Results, the Syrian Refugee Initiative will be considered in future annual Departmental Evaluation Planning exercises.

Shared outcome of federal partners

Syrian refugees are granted protection in Canada and become permanent residents.

Performance indicator(s)

  • Number of Syrian refugees who arrived in Canada as permanent residents within the stated timelines

Target(s)

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

Syrian refugees benefit from Canada's social, health and economic systems and integrate into Canadian society

Performance indicator(s)

  • Percentage of Syrian refugees who accessed settlement services
  • Percentage of Syrian refugees who have access to medical care
  • Percentage of Syrian refugees who are employed
  • Percentage of Syrian refugees who have a strong sense of belonging
  • Percentage of Syrians who obtained Canadian citizenship

Target(s)

  • 80% of Syrian refugees accessed at least one settlement service
  • 65% of Syrian refugees know how to access medical care
  • 50% of Syrian refugees are employed (2023)
  • 80% of Syrian refugees have a sense of belonging at two higher levels (4 and 5) on a scale of 1–5
  • 75% of Syrian refugees obtaining citizenship (by 2025)

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

Performance indicator(s)

  • Proportion of worldwide identified resettled Syrian refugees assisted by Canada

Target(s)

  • 50% in 2016 and 40% in 2015

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

Performance indicator(s)

  • Percentage of Syrian refugee applicants found to be inadmissible (refusal rates)
  • Number of refugees removed from Canada due to identification of post-arrival inadmissibility causes (from the CBSA related to investigations, hearings, detentions, removals)

Target(s)

  • 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.

Expected outcome of non-federal and non-governmental partners

The UNHCR was responsible for identifying and prioritizing vulnerable refugees who are a low security risk and for contacting them to determine if they are interested in being resettled in Canada. The Government of Canada made a $100 million contribution to the UNHCR in 2015–16, to help the agency select eligible Syrians for resettlement in Canada by February 2016. All commitments have been completed in prior years.

Non-federal and non-governmental partners are involved in providing resettled refugees with information and referral services to community supports, such as language classes, translators, community-based mental health care, medical services and long-term accommodations. Support for settlement services is provided through the Settlement Program. Provinces and territories support Syrian refugees after the IFHP and other income support from the federal government ends (usually one year after arrival in Canada).

Name of theme

Not applicable

Planning highlights

In 2018-2019, the Government will undertake the following as part of efforts in support of the Syria refugee resettlement initiative:

  • in cooperation with provinces/territories, municipalities and other partners, provide ongoing support for the settlement and integration of those resettled in Canada through this initiative;
  • provide continued support for medical care costs through the Interim Federal Health Program for eligible expenses; and,
  • detain and remove any individuals deemed inadmissible, as well as undertake any necessary arrangements to enforce removal orders if required.

Contact information

David Manicom
Assistant Deputy Minister
Settlement and Integration Sector
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
David.Manicom@cic.gc.ca
613-437-9152

Planning summary

Activities under the Syrian Refugee Initiative are now in Phase 5 and involve only two departments: IRCC and the CBSA. IRCC’s activities focus on the continuation of Syrian refugee settlement in Canada through funding of settlement services delivered by SPOs. Services include needs assessments, referrals to other services, information and orientation, language training, community connections and employment-related services.

Federal Organization: IRCC

Settlement

  • Total federal allocation (from start to end date) (dollars): $180,258,610
  • 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars): $73,361,366
Horizontal initiative activities
  2018–19
Expected results
2018–19 Performance indicators 2018–19 Targets Date to achieve target
Settlement Program – Needs Assessment Resettled Syrian refugees are linked to IRCC- and non-IRCC-funded services that can respond to their needs Percentage of Syrian refugees who underwent a needs assessment and received referral services to IRCC-funded settlement services. 50% -
Resettled Syrian refugees are linked to IRCC- and non-IRCC-funded services that can respond to their needs Percentage of Syrian refugees who underwent a needs assessment and received referral services to non-IRCC-funded services. 50% -
Settlement Program - All Settlement Services Resettled Syrian refugees are equipped with the knowledge and information needed to contribute to Canadian society Percentage of eligible Syrian refugees who received at least one IRCC-funded settlement service, other than a needs assessment and referrals services. 80% -
Settlement Program – Provision of Information Provision of information: Syrian clients increase knowledge of life in Canada Percentage of Syrian refugee clients receiving information by service and topic. 50% -
Provision of information: Syrian clients increase knowledge of life in Canada Percentage of information clients who indicated that their knowledge of life in Canada changed as a result of IRCC-funded services, by topic and overall. 50% -
Settlement Program – Language Training Services Provision of language training: Syrian clients improve official language skills Percentage of adult Syrian refugee clients receiving language training. 20% -
Provision of language training: Syrian clients improve official language skills Percentage of Syrian refugee language training clients who advanced to the next level, in at least one of the four skills (speaking, writing, reading, listening). TBD -
Settlement Program – Employment-Related Services Provision of employment-related services: Syrian clients acquire knowledge, skills and connections to prepare for the Canadian labour market Percentage of Syrian refugee clients receiving an employment-related service by component and type of service. 10% -
Provision of employment-related services: Syrian clients acquire knowledge, skills and connections to prepare for the Canadian labour market Percentage of Syrian refugee clients who received employment-related services who indicated changes in knowledge, skills and connections obtained related to the Canadian work environment, by type of service. 40% -
Settlement Program – Community Connection Service Provision of community connection services: Syrian clients increase participation in communities and social networks Percentage of Syrian refugee clients receiving community connection services. 10% -
Provision of community connection services: Syrian clients increase participation in communities and social networks Percentage of Syrian refugee community connection clients who indicate that they increased their social network as a result of participation in IRCC-funded services. 20% -
Indirect Services Indirect services: Partners deliver responsive and coordinated settlement and community services Percentage of projects that include the participation of volunteers and that benefit Syrian clients. 20% -

Refugee Resettlement

  • Total federal allocation (from start to end date) (dollars): $590,718,132
  • 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars): $0

Internal Services

  • Total federal allocation (from start to end date) (dollars): $20,119,959
  • 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars): $0
Federal Organization: CBSA – 25,000 refugees
Link to the Department’s program inventory Horizontal initiative activities Total federal allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19
Expected results
2018–19 Performance indicators 2018–19 Targets Date to achieve target
Intelligence Collection and Analysis Identity Threats $6,494,988 $194,424 - - N/A -
Targeting Identity High-Risk People/Goods $0 $0 - - N/A -
Security Screening Targeting Intelligence Security Screening $1,412,009 $0 - - N/A -
Traveller Facilitation and Compliance Regulatory compliance and enforcement $5,938,210 $0 - - N/A -
Criminal Investigations Investigate and prosecute $0 $0 Ongoing criminal investigation related to Syria Number of criminal investigation cases opened from referrals (internal or external) related to Syrian nationals. N/A -
Immigration Investigations Investigate and prosecute $2,323,021 $286,027 Immigration investigations are conducted against persons who are or may be inadmissible to Canada Percentage of immigration investigations concluded that result in a person being identified as inadmissible to Canada. 55% -
Hearings Hold hearings for detainees $1,442,188 249,724 The CBSA will seek admissibility determinations of persons alleged to be inadmissible on the basis of national security, human rights violations or serious criminality. Percentage of high priority foreign nationals removed from Canada compared to the high priority population in the removals inventory. Based on annual average -
Detentions Detaining individuals $1,945,701 $896,707 Persons that may pose a risk to the safety and security of Canada are detained. Percentage of foreign nationals and permanent residents who may be inadmissible to Canada or who may be ready for removal who are detained according to their assessed level of risk. 85% -
Removals Implementing removals $2,116,577 $0 Timely removal of persons subject to an enforceable removal order. Average number of days to facilitate a removal from Canada of a failed claimant who received their negative refugee determination Post- Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act from Canada.
N/A -
Internal Services Internal Services $4,748,006 $1,046,414 - - N/A -
CBSA – 10,000 refugees
Link to the Department’s program inventory Horizontal initiative activities Total federal allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars) 2018–19
Expected results
2018–19 Performance indicators 2018–19 Targets Date to achieve target
Intelligence Collection and Analysis Identity Threats $2,069,431 $0 Safe and secure integration of 10,000 Syrian refugees into Canadian society N/A N/A -
Targeting Identity High-Risk People/Goods $0 $0 Reliable, accurate and actionable information and intelligence resulting in the interception of inadmissible people. N/A N/A -
Security Screening Targeting Intelligence Security Screening $418,283 $0 - N/A N/A -
Traveller Facilitation and Compliance Regulatory compliance and enforcement $1,567,075 $55,715 - N/A - -
Criminal Investigations Investigate and prosecute $342,528 $171,264 Ongoing criminal investigation related to Syria Operations. Number of cases opened from referrals (internal or external) related to Syrian nationals. - -
Immigration Investigations Investigate and prosecute $386,715 $0 Immigration investigations are conducted against persons who are or may be inadmissible to Canada Percentage of immigration investigations concluded that result in a person being identified as inadmissible to Canada. N/A -
Hearings Hold hearings for detainees $248,155 $101,103 The CBSA will seek admissibility determinations of persons alleged to be inadmissible on the basis of national security, human rights violations or serious criminality. Percentage of high priority foreign nationals removed from Canada compared to the high priority population in the removals inventory Based on an annual average -
Detentions Detaining individuals $172,016 $0 Persons that may pose a risk to the safety and security of Canada are detained. Percentage of foreign nationals and permanent residents who may be inadmissible to Canada or who may be ready for removals who are detained according to their assessed level of risk. N/A -
Removals Implementing removals $557,550 $50,430 Timely removal of persons subject to an enforceable removal order. Average number of days to facilitate a removal from Canada of a failed claimant who received their negative refugee determination Post- Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act from Canada. 365 days -
Internal Services Internal Services $305,476 $18,843 N/A N/A N/A -

Federal Organization: Global Affairs Canada

Diplomacy, Advocacy and International Agreements

  • Total federal allocation (from start to end date) (dollars): $1,912,526
  • 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars): $0

Humanitarian Assistance

  • Total federal allocation (from start to end date) (dollars): $104,000,000
  • 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars): $0

Mission Network Governance, Strategic Direction and Common Services

  • Total federal allocation (from start to end date) (dollars): $20,750,498
  • 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars): $0

Internal Services

  • Total federal allocation (from start to end date) (dollars): $681,283
  • 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars): $0

Federal Organization: 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 federal allocation (from start to end date) (dollars): $2,180,040
  • 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars): $0

Federal Organization: Shared Services Canada

Distributed Computing Services

  • Total federal allocation (from start to end date) (dollars): $1,277,650
  • 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars): $0

Production and Operations Computing Services (Data Centres)

  • Total federal allocation (from start to end date) (dollars): $2,641,262
  • 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars): $0

Telecommunications Services (Data, Voice and Video)

  • Total federal allocation (from start to end date) (dollars): $2,769,452
  • 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars): $0

Internal Services

  • Total federal allocation (from start to end date) (dollars): $111,636
  • 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars): $0

Total for all Federal Organizations

  • Total federal allocation (from start to end date) (dollars): $959,908,977
  • 2018–19 Planned spending (dollars): $76,432,017
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