When the Honourable Jason Kenney was at the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, we worked closely with CIC, and there were a lot of groups of five sponsors and private sponsorships. Groups approached us. We made a recommendation and put them in contact with refugees, and they applied to the CIC.
We had one pilot of government-sponsored refugees. Another one was privately sponsored. The third one was blended cases, which I'm sure you all have read was a partnership between the government and private sponsors. That was really helpful. We still have some cases that were resettled through private sponsorship and groups of five in Winnipeg and Halifax, but they went mostly to the GTA area. They are happy. They're successful.
I usually follow up and visit after a year or two. Most of those people are studying at the universities. Some of them received their degrees and are working, so it helped them.
Those private sponsorships were very helpful, because not only did they help them to come to Canada, the refugees also received financial allowances as well as emotional support, which is very important.
When they come to Canada, they have to have a group of people to support them. As I mentioned, they are emotionally in need of attention, and they need to be taken care of. Those private sponsors might help with these supports. We don't want to hear bad incidents again, and I'm sorry to have to keep giving bad news.
Last week one of our refugees who was resettled in Vancouver, a year ago exactly, on May 10, 2016, committed suicide because he didn't have anyone. He left a note that said, “I wish I had someone to talk to me for an hour.” This is very important.