Refugee advocates say Canada must step up resettlement efforts despite pandemic

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Advocates for refugees say the federal government must step up its efforts to help people fleeing conflict and persecution abroad — even as the pandemic continues to suppress cross-border movement around the world. The federal government says that, despite lockdowns and travel restrictions, Canada is now resettling about 250 refugees per week after admissions slowed to a trickle due to the global pandemic, and has welcomed nearly 6,000 refugees since January. That’s still substantially lower than the government’s 2020 target of nearly 32,000 refugees. Alex Cohen, spokesperson for Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino, said Canada is working to identify the most urgent refugee cases as international partners begin to resume operations abroad.