This year’s document calls for “structured spending” that would increase federal government spending to $37.9 billion, or almost $9 billion more than the new Liberal government must spend to meet its own election promises. As well, “The Alternative Federal Budget raises the bar on transparency by providing an accounting of the distributional impacts on Canadian families of all proposed changes in taxation, transfers, and program spending—something no government budget, federal or provincial, has ever undertaken.”
News: Refugee Rights
Citizens for Public Justice said restoring the program is a way to recognize the “hard work and sacrifice” made by individuals, churches and community groups who take in refugees.
Citizens for Public Justice is urging that health services be restored for all refugees immediately. Cuts have an impact on the ability and willingness of sponsors to help due to added liability for costs associated with vision and dental care, prosthetics, medication and mobility devices, according to them
From The Catalyst Winter 2015
by Dena Nicolai
The longing of Advent and the celebration of Christmas this year must also involve preparing for the arrival of thousands of Syrian refugees. In the midst of these preparations, God’s word in 1 John 4:18 continues to exhort us, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.”
In the past few months, an increasing number of Canadians have called for government action in response to the urgent Syrian refugee crisis.
While communities and individuals are stepping up to assist by participating in private sponsorship, barriers remain, both in terms of the numbers of refugees coming to Canada and in the supports available once they arrive.
In this election, CPJ focused on democratic reform, poverty in Canada, climate justice, and refugee rights. On all four issues, our members hope to see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take quick action to fulfill his party’s commitments. But we will also push his new government to fill in the gaps in its platform.
The Huffington Post
Faith leaders and community groups across Canada are feverishly mobilizing to receive thousands of Syrian refugees. Meanwhile federal candidates are vying for air time with proposals to enlarge the numbers of people our country will settle.
While on the campaign trail, Prime Minister Stephen Harper pledged to resettle an additional 10,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq over the next four years if re-elected in this fall’s federal election.
This is on top of the 10,000 his government announced in January would be resettled over the next three years.
Last year, with the passage of C-43 – the omnibus budget implementation bill, the federal government removed the financial penalty for imposing a residency requirement for social assistance. There are exceptions. Canadian citizens, permanent residents, victims of human trafficking with a temporary resident permit, and accepted refugees would not have to meet this requirement. It is those who are not explicitly named who would be most adversely affected, and these are refugees who file their claims in Canada.
Canada is known for its welcoming policy for newcomers, but with over 50 million displaced people around the world, private sponsors are taking on more work as the federal government starts backing away. Churches or church-connected organizations represent 72 per cent of Sponsorship Agreement Holders. This puts them in a position to advocate to the government on behalf of refugees.