A parliamentary committee could soon probe why Canada suddenly started turning away LGBT Iranians seeking asylum, Xtra has learned. The move comes as members of Parliament express confusion over why a famed program that brought hundreds of refugees to safety has ground to a halt. According to a Feb 3, 2017, Xtra investigation, Canada started turning away LGBT Iranians in Turkey seeking third-country resettlement, shortly after the Liberal government’s airlift of Syrians got underway in November 2015. Since 2010, Canada has resettled hundreds of Iranians from Turkey fleeing persecution on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Most were resettled through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), after the former Conservative government asked the agency to refer such cases to Canada, often with the help of Toronto-based activists.
February 9 / Daily Xtra