M.P. Albrecht calls on Minister of Immigration to work with private refugee sponsorship groups

June 10th, 2016
For immediate release

OTTAWA – This week, the Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga, Harold Albrecht, questioned Immigration Minister John McCallum about the Liberal government’s failure to support private sponsored refugee groups as part of the Syrian refugee initiative.

Private sponsorship groups provide immediate support for refugees to Canada, helping them successfully integrate into their new communities.

“I am hearing from private sponsorship groups from across the Waterloo Region that have generously opened their doors, wallets, and hearts to assist Syrian refugees. They are now seeing their donations go to waste; apartments being rented and released, contracts being canceled and more, as the Liberal government fails to place refugee families with them. This is happening while government sponsored refugees are languishing without this support, which is shameful,” said M.P. Albrecht.

An example of this situation has occurred in M.P. Albrecht’s riding, in Kitchener, Ontario. Following a four month journey, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church raised over $70,000 to privately sponsor a Syrian refugee family and was told that the family would arrive by the end of February. Three months later, the Church and family have still not been united and the only official communication they have received is a form letter from the Prime Minister.

“I am convinced that the Immigration Minister is not listening. We don’t need to keep hearing about the 46,000 refugees who have already arrived. We want to know about the ones that are waiting on the sidelines, who have been approved and were supposed to be brought to Canada months ago. In any case I am so appreciative of Harold’s initiative – I wish more of the members would speak up for their constituents.”
Wilma Welsh; Co-Convenor of the Refugee Committee, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

“Ahead of World Refugee Day on June 20th, this type of disrespect to Canadians whose generosity is unmatched must stop. I call on the government to stop the mismanagement of this process that is leaving refugees without homes and homes without occupants,” said M.P. Albrecht.

– 30 –