Media Release, October 20, 2015
October 20, 2015
The Council of the Canadian Refugee Sponsorship Agreement Holders Association (SAH Council) represents the organizations in Canada that sponsor refugees under the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.
The SAH Council congratulates the Liberal Party of Canada for winning the 2015 Federal Election.
The SAH Council looks forward to working with the new Government of Canada to make refugees a priority. We believe it is time to re-assert Canada’s humanitarian role internationally by providing refuge for more families and individuals escaping persecution and civil war, and desperately fleeing for their lives. Refugees cannot wait. And Canadians have made it clear that they stand ready to open their arms and homes to refugees. Sponsorship Agreement Holders stand ready to partner with the new Government to increase and accelerate the numbers of refugees accepted to Canada. To this end, we request the Government to:
- Immediately create a mechanism for substantive consultation with the SAH Association and other key stakeholders to develop a more expansive and humanitarian policy towards, and stream-lined processes for, refugee resettlement to Canada.
- Declare an increased and unequivocal commitment to the Government Assisted Refugee Program (GAR) in terms of numbers of refugees resettled to Canada and resources committed to processing in Canada and overseas.
- Acknowledge and respect that any sponsorships through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program will be in addition to those resettled through the GAR program.
- Immediately reinstate Interim Federal Health (IFH) coverage to pre-2012 levels so that privately sponsored refugees receive the same coverage as government sponsored refugees, and drop the appeal of the Federal Court decision which denounced the IFH cuts as cruel and unusual.
- Restore Canada’s leadership role internationally by partnering with the SAH Association and other Canadian and international stakeholders, particularly the UNHCR, to pledge a large increase in the number of Syrians Canada will resettle over and above existing immigration levels and in a record amount of time,
at no expense to other refugee populations. We applaud the appointment of Deborah Tunis as Special Coordinator for Syrian and Iraqi Refugee Resettlement to assist in this regard. Increase the proportion of the Humanitarian Class of immigration within the overall Immigration Plan.
- Re-examine the policy of imposing caps on the numbers of sponsorships Sponsorship Agreement Holders can submit in order to increase refugee resettlement to Canada and allocate resources to visa offices accordingly.
Brian Dyck, Chair Aslam Daud Tom Denton Ellen Erickson
Paulette Johnson Scott McLeod Susan Nye-Brothers Rebecca Walker