On January 15, 2015 Steve Paiken on his TV program The Agenda interviewed Alexandra Kotyk. She is with the Anglican-United Refugee Alliance and an elected members of the Sponsorship Agreement Holders Council. She indicated that the Government intends to bring 10,000 refugees from Syria and 60% of those will be sponsored by private sponsors, the other 40% will be Government sponsored. In addition, the Government will bring 3,000 Iraqi refugees. She also indicated that the United Nations High Commissio9n for Refugees had asked Canada to take action on refugee resettlement and this is a step in the right direction. The issue of lack of consultation from the Government to sponsorship agreement holders was also mentioned. Another issue concerned the long complicated processing time for each case. It was interesting to note that Canada is the only country that has private sponsorship of refugees. On another point Alexandra pointed out that it is the Government that is responsible for bringing refugees to Canada, and the trend is to limit and be told what types of refugees to accept and from where – but in the past it was totally open as to where the refugee was originally from. One worry that was discussed is the fear that the private sponsors cannot meet the Government targets and what that might mean two or three years down the road. The reality is that private sponsors are doing most of the refugee sponsorship work.
You can watch the entire interview by clicking here.
Canadians are the first and only people to have been honoured collectively with the Nansen Medal. The 1986 award committee cited “the major and sustained contribution of the People of Canada to the cause of refugees” through individuals, families, voluntary agencies, community and religious organizations, as well as the three levels of government. For more information on this award please click here.