Will the 5-day halt to refugee arrivals make a difference?

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Toronto, January 22 (CINEWS): Things are apparently not going as smoothly despite the matching talk from Immigration Minister John McCallum when it comes to refugees. Costi the top resettlement agency seems to have thrown up its hands in resignation and is urging a five-day pause to receiving refugees.
Mario J. Calla, the executive director of Costi, an immigrant services group, told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning host Matt Galloway on Wednesday that the agency has requested a five-day stoppage from the government of federally-sponsored newcomers.
“In the past few weeks, we’ve been received about 300 refugees a week,” Calla said. “We need to pause in order to serve the refugees better.”
‘We have received requests to slow down arrivals in some communities.’- CIC spokeswoman Theodora Jean
The executive went on to say that these kinds of pauses are not irregular.
“We’re talking about a five-day pause, we’re not talking about stopping. We’re talking about we can do this better is what we’re saying,” Calla continued.
“The families are larger than we had anticipated, which makes the housing availability more challenging to find,” he added, stressing the need to re-organize and bring in more staff to help out.
Immigration Minister John McCallum was questioned about the request in Toronto and other Canadian cities during a news conference Wednesday in Toronto.
“They are finding that they need a little more time to hire more people,” McCallum told reporters, referencing individual groups calling for the temporary stoppage. “I am told this will be resolved in a few days, not longer than that.”
“We want to make sure that people get settled quickly and that’s why we’re asking for this,” Calla said, adding “it’s not just us here in Toronto (who need a pause).”
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has confirmed that the flow of new refugees will be slowed in four Canadian cities including Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax and Vancouver. This move comes at the request of the agencies that serve these cities, including Costi.
“We have received requests to slow down arrivals in some communities,” CIC spokeswoman Theodora Jean said via email. “We are accommodating those requests to ensure that in the end, the refugees are well taken care of.”
The problem is that winter is a time when there are fewer homes and apartments available for rent and many landlords are reluctant to rent out their spaces to large refugee families. It is unlikely that a five-day pause will actually help the situation because it is clear that integrating refugees properly takes a long time and given the region they come from and the trauma many of them have undergone, ensuring they are physically and mentally comfortable is very important.
Many settlement agencies are loathe to admit that they aren’t able to offer the level of quality support that they would normaly be giving if the numbers were smaller and more manageable because it may reflect on them badly. It is commendable that Costi has been honest about its limitations.

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