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Clearing the Backlog

The group which has been focusing on the backlog has sent their brief to Minister Hussen, the members of the Parliamentary committee on Migration, the Senate Committee on Migration and Refugees and others. You can read the entire brief here at the link: Clearing the Backlog June, 2017


Issues for Refugee Sponsorships – backlog, wait times, lack of spots, travel loans

There are many issues and questions related to the Canadian approach to refugee settlement and sponsorship. Recently, there have been some groups who are talking about the issues and publicizing their concerns. One is Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ). This is a national organization of members inspired by faith to act for justice in Canadian public policy. The other is a local Toronto group headed by former mayor of Toronto John Sewell.

CPJ conducted a study of the issues as seen by various Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH’s) in Canada. The study entitled “A Half Welcome, delays, limits and inequities in Canadian Refugee Sponsorship”, focused these areas of concern. These include: long wait times for applications from Syrian and other countries to be processed by Canada, allocation limits from Syria and other parts of the world such as Africa and travel loans which need to be repaid beginning after 6 months for private sponsorships and not at all for Government Assisted Refugees (GAR).

You can read the entire article here: Half Welcome

The group informally known as “Clearing the Backlog” is a community advocacy group consisting of many faith-based groups and other local community advocates. They are also concerned about the backlog indicating that it has climbed to about 45,000, and with the 9000 in Quebec’s frozen pipeline. Another concern is the limits on the number of applicants from various parts of the world, especially Africa.

This Backlog group can be reached via email at: john@johnsewell.ca

 


 

WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES 2017

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Child Migrants, the Vulnerable and the Voiceless – Pope Francis

January 15, 2017 is World Day of Migrants and Refugees. The theme as established by Pope Francis is, “Child migrants, the vulnerable and the voiceless”. Across Canada in many dioceses there are liturgies in commemoration and honouring this special day.

In his message pope Francis reminds us that the sure path which leads to God begins with the smallest and, through the grace of our Saviour it grows into the practice of welcoming others. The Pope focuses our attention on the reality of child migrants, especially the ones who are alone. They are defenseless: they are children, they are foreigners, and they have no means to protect themselves.

The Pope asks “How can we respond?” First, he says we need to become aware that the phenomenon of migration is not unrelated to salvation history, but rather a part of that history. In addition, we need to work towards protection, integration and long-term solutions. Furthermore, the most powerful force driving the exploitation and abuse of children is demand.

Secondly, we need to work for the integration of children and youngsters who are migrants. They depend totally on the adult community.

Thirdly, to all the Pope addresses a heartfelt appeal that long-term solutions be sought and adopted.

Lastly, Pope Francis addresses a word to us, who walk alongside migrant children and young people: they need our precious help. The Church too needs us and supports us in the generous service we offer.

Suggested Actions:

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