Evidence of meeting #82 for Citizenship and Immigration in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was resettlement.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Dawn Edlund  Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
Sean Boyd  Executive Director, Middle East Relations, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development
Jean-Marc Gionet  Acting Senior Director, Resettlement Operations, International Network, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
Corinne Prince  Director General, Settlement and Integration Policy Branch, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
Jean-Nicolas Beuze  Representative in Canada, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

9:30 a.m.

Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Dawn Edlund

From August 2014 forward...?

9:30 a.m.

Liberal

Marwan Tabbara Liberal Kitchener South—Hespeler, ON

Yes, until August 2015, within that one-year time frame.

9:30 a.m.

Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Dawn Edlund

Let me just make sure I have the right year.

9:30 a.m.

Liberal

Marwan Tabbara Liberal Kitchener South—Hespeler, ON

You can just table that. I'll go on to another question.

9:30 a.m.

Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Dawn Edlund

Part of it is that it will be difficult because until we started the specific operation for resettling Yazidis, we did not identify people by ethnicity or religion. We know from our resettlement of 23,000 Iraqis that we ended up resettling Yazidis, and that's how we ended up with the core communities here in Canada. Those were created, but we didn't set out to create them by specific ethnicity or religion.

9:30 a.m.

Liberal

Marwan Tabbara Liberal Kitchener South—Hespeler, ON

Okay.

My second question is for Mr. Boyd. You mentioned post-Daesh and some of the programs that we want to put in place to help those communities that are suffering from lack of water, electricity, etc. We know that Daesh has now been decreased to around 10% control in certain regions.

Can you tell us about some of the programs that you're putting in place for post-Daesh, or what you've been working on with multilateral organizations?

9:30 a.m.

Executive Director, Middle East Relations, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development

Sean Boyd

Thank you.

We're focusing very closely on rehabilitation of local communities, so that's working with organizations such as the UNDP in terms of its stabilization programming. We're contributing funding to that. We're part of that stabilization working group that's looking at how we can restore services in these local areas.

We are also involved in transitional justice programming, so that's how to work with organizations to collect evidence of crimes against humanity and crimes against international law and build case files that can be used in due course to, again, allow communities to begin to heal and address the issue of accountability.

Third is in the area of reconciliation and conflict prevention, working with local organizations' programming to ensure that women's voices are engaged in the process, and helping to rebuild a sense of community to rebuild these shattered communities.

9:30 a.m.

Liberal

Marwan Tabbara Liberal Kitchener South—Hespeler, ON

Thank you.

Maybe you could elaborate on that, about the confidence within the community. What types of things can we do? These communities have lived alongside each other for many years. Yes, there has been some conflict, but I don't think to this large scale of conflict.

Are there more programs in place to bring in that confidence of the many different ethnic groups there?

9:30 a.m.

Executive Director, Middle East Relations, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development

Sean Boyd

One key area that our programming is focusing on is policing, starting to introduce the concept of civilian policing. The plan is that Canada will deploy up to 20 Canadian police officers. We have about five who have now been deployed to Iraq. We'll be deploying more, to start introducing concepts that we know here in Canada such as community policing, how the police can work with community members to develop that trust and confidence in institutions at the community level.

9:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Rob Oliphant

Thank you, Mr. Boyd.

Ms. Rempel, you have five minutes.

9:35 a.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Going back to my previous line of questioning, has the government directed IRCC to provide or develop any plans to provide specialized mental health services for the Yazidis who have been resettled, anything in the vein of what the Germans did in terms of providing specialized mental health services for these people?

9:35 a.m.

Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Dawn Edlund

Of course the health provision is a matter for the provinces, not for the federal government. Within our sphere of jurisdiction, we've made sure, for the interim federal health program, that we have adequate resources available and the medical services available.

9:35 a.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

That's a comment that would be writ large for this particular cohort. Has the government directed the department to provide any sort of plan to provide specialized mental health services to Yazidi genocide victims?

9:35 a.m.

Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Dawn Edlund

I'm not sure it was a question of direction, but rather a recognition, from everything we learned from the Germans and others, that we had to make sure those types of supports were available, and then working collaboratively with the provinces and the territories so that our programming is complementary.

November 7th, 2017 / 9:35 a.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

A case was presented, through a resettlement service provider, to me in Calgary.

The adult mother is receiving trauma counselling related to her kidnapping and extensive sexual abuse. She frequently says she is crazy and cannot cope. She says she's consumed by the thoughts of her past and finds herself unable to learn. She also says her daughters are crazy and they are not coping well with the violence they have experienced. The girls have formed no meaningful friendships and cannot communicate their feelings well.

They display deep hostilities toward Muslim men, which often come to the surface when they interact with Arabic-speaking men. They frequently say “Arabic bad” and become agitated, causing many misunderstandings and further isolating them, as they live in an area with a large Arabic population.

She went on to talk about how there, essentially, aren't mental health services being provided specifically to deal with the trauma these women have seen in their captivity.

Can you provide the committee with any details on the specific, perhaps specialized mental health support that would be provided to these women? I think there are probably some gaps.

9:35 a.m.

Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Dawn Edlund

Yes, we can do so.

Corinne, do you have something you'd like to say now ?

9:35 a.m.

Corinne Prince Director General, Settlement and Integration Policy Branch, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Thank you.

I would just add, particularly regarding the situation in Calgary, that the local service provider organizations are working extremely closely—more than ever, actually—with the local health authorities, not only in terms of mental health but even, as a specific example, ensuring that the local paramedic teams understand the issues this particular population is dealing with and can adjust the services they are offering to ensure they're dealing with the deep issues that are—

9:35 a.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

I guess I'm just getting a bit of a mixed message here. You are saying there is no oversight. However, Ms. Prince, your testimony seems to suggest that there is oversight. I'm just wondering what's fact here.

What I am looking for is whether the department has been instructed by the government to provide some sort of plan for specialized mental health support for these women, and what you are doing to implement that. Is it the province? Are you actually working with them?

Can you table any sort of plan with the committee?

9:35 a.m.

Director General, Settlement and Integration Policy Branch, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Corinne Prince

Our settlement policies require our service provider organizations to provide, especially with the additional funding that has been provided for this particular population—

9:35 a.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Sorry, I'll ask another way, just for time.

What metrics for mental health recovery is IRCC using within this cohort to determine whether their mental health needs have been appropriately met?

9:35 a.m.

Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Dawn Edlund

I can speak specifically to what we have seen in the interim federal health program context.

9:35 a.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Just because I am out of time, would you be able to table those metrics with the committee?

9:35 a.m.

Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Dawn Edlund

Yes.

Up until now, there has not been a large number of individuals who have received individualized counselling.

9:35 a.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

How many have received individualized counselling?

9:35 a.m.

Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Dawn Edlund

It would be less than five—