Alan Kurdi, a two-year-old Kurdish-Syrian boy, drowned alongside his family members in the Mediterranean on September 2, 2015. The world vowed to do more. Many developed a greater compassion for refugees, but more is required.
News: Refugee Rights
The United Nations’ 71st Annual General Assembly was very different this year.
Unlike other years, where the focus has been on economic or political issues, there was a predominant focus on migrants and refugees. Canada’s refugee resettlement policy was highlighted as a good example for the international humanitarian effort on refugees. In many ways, Canada’s resettlement system is indeed a model for the world. However, it still needs a lot of improvement before it’s ready to be exported.
On March 31, 2016, McCallum announced some exciting changes that directly respond to the concerns of private sponsorship groups and the SAH Council. These changes respond directly to CPJ’s concerns over restrictive caps and the government’s processing speed.
The federal government will fully restore the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) to all refugees starting April 1, 2016.
Citizens for Public Justice is celebrating, and across Canada refugees and their sponsors are sighing in relief—they no longer need to worry about how they will pay for their health needs.
From The Catalyst, Spring 2016
by Naomi Kabugi
The spirit of migration permeates, and to a large extent defines,the biblical narrative. This theme is found in Genesis, the Psalms, and Revelation.
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.”
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.