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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Act now to process refugees, Bishop Crosby tells Canadian Government

The president of the Canadian bishops’ conference has written a frank letter to the federal immigration minister urging immediate government action to unclog delays in processing refugee applicants to preserve confidence in the refugee sponsorship program.

Bishop Douglas Crosby, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote to Immigration Minister John McCallum to say many sponsoring groups have become frustrated due to long wait times and money spent on refugee families that have yet to arrive.

‘Needless to say, delayed arrivals and the lack of clear and transparent communication about the status of pending cases poses the risk of undermining the faith of Canadians in the government’s ability to follow through on its promises,’ Bishop Crosby wrote in a letter dated 6th October.

Bishop Crosby said Canadians responded generously in late 2015 and early 2016 when the government promised ‘arrival timelines of less than two months’. This led to sponsoring groups signing leases and renting properties, as they expected arrivals to be imminent.

Picture: John McCallum, Canada’s Immigration Minister, speaks during a meeting on refugees and migrants at the U.N. General Assembly in New York City on 19th September. The Bishop of Hamilton, Ontario, Douglas Crosby, who is also president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, has asked McCallum to unclog delays in processing refugee applicants in order to preserve confidence in the refugee sponsorship program. (CNS photo/Carlo Allegri, Reuters).