Asylum seekers in Atlantic Canada had highest refugee acceptance rate last year

In News by Shane

More than 370 refugee claims were made in Atlantic Canada between January 2013 and September 2017. (Mark Blinch/Canadian Press)

Asylum seekers in Atlantic Canada were more likely to have their refugee claims accepted last year than anywhere else in the country.

For the first nine months of 2017, 90 per cent of refugee claims made in Atlantic Canada were approved, according to Immigration and Refugee Board decisions analyzed by CBC News. That compares to a national acceptance rate of 70 per cent over the same period.

“It means more people are getting protected, so that’s a very good thing,” said Julie Chamagne, executive director of the Halifax Refugee Clinic, a privately funded non-profit that assists asylum seekers making claims in Nova Scotia.

Compared with the rest of the country, however, the number of claims being made in Atlantic Canada is tiny: 373 refugee claims between January 2013 and September 2017, representing less than half a per cent of the national total.

Asylum seekers are separate from government or privately sponsored refugees who make their claims while still overseas and whose stories are verified before they arrive in Canada.

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