Post Federal Election Media Release
October 23, 2019
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 and Blended Visa Office-Referred Programs.
The SAH Council congratulates the Liberal Party of Canada on its success in forming the new government. We encourage the new government to cooperate with other parties to continue to increase immigration to Canada to meet multiple objectives, but especially to protect and advance Canada’s humanitarian traditions of providing refuge to those fleeing persecution and civil war. With the dismaying news that the United States government might continue to reduce its resettlement commitment to an historic low of 18,000 individuals in 2020, we call on the Canadian government to set a strong international and national example by re-affirming its support for the Government Assisted Refugee (GAR) program by substantially increasing the GAR admission targets in its immigration plan going forward.
In the immigration plan that currently exists, it is Canadian civil society that shoulders much of the responsibility of resettlement through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) Program. The private refugee sponsorship community certainly feels compelled to do its part in addressing the huge global need. It is in favour of the admissions target of 20,000 for the PSR Program. However, the SAH Association calls on the new government to find allies in the new electoral configuration to hit the reset button on government resettlement and decide to share more equally in this responsibility by increasing its commitment to the same level of 20,000 or higher. Private refugee sponsorship should be in addition to, not instead of, government-sponsored resettlement. We, as private sponsors, cannot be a proxy or a substitute for government commitments, particularly when the plight of refugees in the world today is so grim.
In reaching out to all Canadians after the election, we hope the new government will partner with the SAH Council and other organizations working with and on behalf of refugees in promoting an inclusive and compassionate country that welcomes newcomers while also supporting the needs of other marginalized communities in Canada. We believe that helping all those in need helps us all.
Media contact: please email the SAH Association - email@example.com