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鼓吹者如是说:加拿大“残酷的”难民贷款给新来者留下巨大债务

2015-12-24 19:40| 发布者: 51haoyouadmin| 查看: 7174| 评论: 0|来自: CBC News

摘要: 难民被要求在抵达加拿大后30天开始偿还他们的运送费。移民部长约翰·麦考伦(中),与很快就被安置在加拿大的叙利亚的一家人。作为叙利亚人,不像其他的难民一样,这个家庭将免除偿还计息政府贷款。(美联社)
Canada's 'cruel' refugee loans leave newcomers with mountain of debt, say advocates
鼓吹者如是说:加拿大“残酷的”难民贷款给新来者留下巨大债务

Refugees are required to start paying back cost of their transportation 30 days after arriving in Canada

难民被要求在抵达加拿大后30天开始偿还他们的运送费

CBC News Posted: Dec 23, 2015 2:01 PM PT Last Updated: Dec 23, 2015 2:21 PM PT

Immigration Minister John McCallum, centre, with a Syrian family soon to be resettled in Canada. As Syrian, this family will be exempt from paying back interest-bearing government loans — unlike other refugees.

Immigration Minister John McCallum, centre, with a Syrian family soon to be resettled in Canada. As Syrian, this family will be exempt from paying back interest-bearing government loans — unlike other refugees. (Sam McNeil/The Associated Press) 

移民部长约翰·麦考伦(中),与很快就被安置在加拿大的叙利亚的一家人。作为叙利亚人,不像其他的难民一样,这个家庭将免除偿还计息政府贷款。(萨姆·麦克尼尔/美联社)

Refugee advocates are calling on the federal government to end what they call the "cruel" practice of forcing refugees to pay back interest-bearing loans to cover transport and medical costs.

The federal Immigration Minister says the government is covering the cost of bringing in Syrian refugees, but advocates say thousands of other refugees are struggling to repay the government loans they were issued when they arrived.

Chris Friesen with the Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia says he works with immigrants who are facing a mountain of debt and many are struggling to even buy the basics of food and clothing.

"More and more refugees are using, for example, their child tax benefits; they're using part of their food money [to pay back the loans," said Friesen.

"They're asking their children to work after school, or in some cases, even drop out of high school to help and meet the financial needs of the family."

Refugees charged interest on loans

Loans are granted to refugees to cover the costs of their medical examinations abroad, travel documents and transportation. More loans are also available to cover rent, phone deposits and work tools.

Refugees are required to start paying off the loan 30 days after arriving in Canada.

If the loan isn't paid back completely after a specified period of time (between one and three years, depending on the amount borrowed), refugees are charged interest on the amount remaining.

Friesen says Canada is the only country in the world that charges refugees interest on the loans they're issued when brought to this country — and the issue is causing a stir in the refugee community.

"We have Syrians coming into the country, staying in the same facility as other refugees who have loans, and they're asking us to explain to them why the government is giving preferential treatment to Syrians versus them."

Meanwhile, in Vancouver, Vancity Credit Union is offering new refugees interest free travel loans for the purpose of buying out government loans and avoid paying the interest.

With files from Farrah Merali.



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