Volume #27 - 135.|
UNITED NATIONS AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
WORLD REFUGEE YEAR
Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs|
CABINET DOCUMENT NO. 58-60|
February 18, 1960|
WORLD REFUGEE YEAR — EXTENSION OF THE PROJECT FOR THE ADMISSION OF TUBERCULOUS REFUGEES
On the basis of the latest estimate, it appears that the Federal Government’s expenditure for the treatment and rehabilitation of the one hundred tuberculous refugees and their families will not exceed $225,000 during the initial year (explanatory statement attached). The maximum amount authorized for the first year was $600,000, approved by Cabinet on September 11, 1959.
In these circumstances the question arises whether consideration might be given to extending the programme. The following possibilities might be considered (subject to discussion with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the provinces):
(a) Probably additional cases of families with one TB patient could be admitted. It would be necessary to consult at the outset with the High Commissioner for Refugees, who would be warned that the additional cost to the Federal Government of an extension of the programme would keep total expenditure within the $600,000;
(b) If the available number of additional families with one tuberculous member did not use all available funds, consideration might be given to the inclusion of a few families with more than one member afflicted by tuberculous;
(c) Similarly, a few unmarried persons suffering from tuberculosis might be included.
(d) Should it appear that there are not enough suitable refugee families containing tuberculous cases for selection within the extended programme, consideration might be given in consultation with the High Commissioner for Refugees to the selection of a number of families containing members who have some other handicap. A number of refugees suffering from miscellaneous handicaps have been settled in such countries as New Zealand and Australia at relatively little cost.
Statements which have been made by a number of provincial governments at present co-operating in the tuberculous refugee scheme would indicate that these governments would be prepared to make a substantial contribution to the hospitalization costs of an extension of the project. It therefore seems possible that a large number of additional families could be placed in provincial sanatoria without great cost to the Federal Government.
(a) That the Secretary of State for External Affairs be authorized to announce that details of an extension of the tuberculous refugee plan (involving no expense to the Federal Government beyond that originally contemplated in connection with World Refugee Year) are being worked out in consultation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and with the provincial governments and that it is hoped that arrangements may be made for the admission of additional tuberculous cases and possibly other categories;
(b) That the details of the extension be worked out by the Secretary of State for External Affairs in consultation with the Ministers of Citizenship and Immigration, Finance and National Health and Welfare and with the provincial governments and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, such extension to be on the understanding that provincial governments would be encouraged to contribute as much as possible to the programme and that the total cost to the Federal Government of both the original programme and the extension during the period ending December 31, 1960, should not exceed $600,000.
On September 11, 1959 Cabinet considered a proposal for a special Canadian contribution to World Refugee Year.112 It was agreed that it should be announced that Canada’s special contribution to the World Refugee Year would be the admission of about 100 tuberculous refugees together with their families and that the tuberculous patients would be treated at public expense. It was also agreed that the details of the plan should be worked out by the Secretary of State for External Affairs in consultation with the Ministers of Citizenship and Immigration, National Health and Welfare and Finance and with provincial governments, on the understanding that the provincial governments and the Canadian Committee for World Refugee Year would be encouraged to contribute as much as possible and that the total cost to the Federal Government during the first year should not exceed $600,000.
The estimated maximum cost to the Federal Government of $600,000 was based upon information available to the Government at that time. It was agreed that selection of the tuberculous refugees to be admitted to Canada should be left to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and it was believed possible that a substantial proportion of the cases selected might be in advanced stages of the disease and would, therefore, require prolonged periods of hospitalization. It was also thought that many of the refugee families, having lived for ten years or more in refugee camps, would require a number of months of public maintenance before they would adjust sufficiently to life outside the camps to be able to accept employment. It was, however, understood that the $600,000 estimate was the maximum which the Federal Government might be called upon to spend in the first year of the project and it was hoped that some reduction below this level might be possible.
By the end of January, most of the one hundred refugee families selected had arrived in Canada and had been examined at provincial sanatoria. It became increasingly clear that the majority of tuberculous cases selected by the High Commissioner for Refugees could be described as “minimal or very mild cases.” It also appeared that the majority of families were adjusting to life in Canada more quickly than was anticipated and would become largely self-supporting at an early date. In addition, the provincial governments have agreed to accept a larger share of financial responsibility for the hospital costs of these cases than was expected last September. It now appears that the Federal Government may quite possibly have to pay costs of hospitalization for no more than six tuberculous cases beyond the month of March and that no more than ten refugee families will require Federal support beyond the month of April.
In view of these factors, the Immigration Branch has prepared a revised estimate of the probable cost of the project to the Federal Government up to December 31, 1960. It does not appear that substantial expenditures will be incurred by the Government in connection with this project beyond the end of the calendar year 1960. The Immigration Branch has estimated that, on the basis of the present prognosis for the hospitalized cases and the rate at which the refugee families are becoming self-supporting, the total cost of the programme to the Federal Government to December 31 will be about $190,000. To allow for unforeseen contingencies, the Immigration Branch has suggested that an additional $35,000 be set aside, making a total estimate of $225,000. It therefore appears that the actual Federal expenditure in the initial year will be at least $375,000 less than the $600,000 maximum Federal expenditure agreed to by the Cabinet.113
112 Voir/See Volume 26, document 43.
113Approuvé par le Cabinet le 1er mars 1960./Approved by Cabinet on March 1, 1960.