Blending, Bargaining, and Burden-Sharing: Canada’s Resettlement Programs
In this piece, we offer a comment on the most recent addition to the Canadian resettlement scheme, the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) program. The BVOR program was introduced in 2013 as a modified version of private sponsorship and middle ground between sponsorship and government-assisted resettlement. While the program was met with criticism and skepticism that the government was off-loading more resettlement responsibility to private sponsors, the Syrian crisis significantly impacted and changed the Canadian resettlement landscape. This comment outlines the program and surveys the benefits and concerns with such a model. BVOR is examined in relation to both private and government resettlement, in the current moment of Syrian resettlement, and in comparison to the historical use of private sponsorship for Indochinese refugees. Through an examination of the challenges BVOR is intended to address and the division of public and private responsibility, the comment serves to assess the direction of Canada’s future resettlement.
KeywordsRefugees Resettlement Private sponsorship Blended Visa Office-Referred Government-assisted refugees program Indochinese refugees Syrian refugee crisis
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