In an interview with Dr. Le Duy Can, Commissioner for External Affairs of the Confederation of Vietnamese Associations in Canada

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Summary of Audio Interview

In an interview with Vu Pham Yen on the “Voice of Vietnam” radio, Dr. Le Duy Can, the Commissioner for External Affairs of the Confederation of Vietnamese Associations in Canada, said that the total number of Vietnamese refugees getting stuck in the Philippines before June 2007 was 252 persons including Vietnamese male refugees having Filippino wives and their children. Of this, 160 already came to or will come to Canada in September and the remainder will have a good chance of having their applications approved in the coming week except those who do not want to leave the Philippines.

Mr. Can also said that there were 4 difficult cases requiring the intervention of the Federation. The first case involves Huynh Phong, a Vietnamese refugee who got mad after surviving a perilous trip on the ocean in which his wife and children lost their lives. The second case involves a boy having autism and the third case involves a lady having heart problems. The Confederation has already written to the Minister of Immigration promising to withdraw from its Refugee Sponsorship Funds $20,000 to pay for the health and drug costs of Huynh Phong, $20,000 to pay for the health costs of the boy with autism, and another $20,000 including $10,000 contributed by Venerable Thich Nguyen Thao’s Hoa Nghiem Pagoda to help pay for the lady’s heart surgery in the Philippines.

These three refugees have a good chance of being accepted and the Federation is waiting for the decision from the Canadian Government. The fourth case involves a family of Vietnamese refugees who have been given the “convention refugee” status by the United Nations High Commission and for that reason has not been included on the list of non-status persons. The Federation has also explained to the advisor of the Federal Minister of Immigration that it would be difficult for this refugee family to adapt to the life in Philippines after all the other refugees have left this country. Mr. Can said that these people’s applications will also have a good chance of being accepted.