Sponsoring Refugees, Good News and Bad News
Children refugees

September 27, 2018 — On September 17, the Quebec Minister of Immigration, Diversity, and Inclusion (MIDI) ended the moratorium that forbade groups and organizations wishing to sponsor refugees privately to present any new requests to the authorities with the intention of “unclogging” the system and optimizing the handling of the files. But it is largely insufficient, explains Fr. Mario Brisson, S.J., the person responsible for sponsorships at the Mission Office of the Jesuits of Canada.

Fr. Mario Brisson, SJIn what way is this new mechanism insufficient?

MB: The requests didn’t stop after the imposition of the moratorium; quite the opposite. In addition to the requests of Syrians, Afghanis and Eritreans, there were also requests coming from Somalia and the Great Lakes region of Africa (Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, The Democratic Republic of Congo). So the groups and organizations had the possibility of presenting new requests, but in fact, we should rather be talking about chance, because this reopening of private sponsorships has sadly become a lottery. In effect, the groups of two to five people, the community organizations and the parishes will have to “share” the 150 private sponsorships that have been authorized by the Ministry for all of Quebec. The experienced groups for their part have had to share 350 sponsorships. Best case scenario: an organization like ours would only be able to present 30 dossiers. By way of comparison, in 2015, there were 400 requests for partnership that were authorized.

Furthermore, the requests have to be presented by messenger within a single day, first come, first served. This is very disrespectful of the organizations that have been working with refugees. And without the least regard for the very real human suffering hidden behind the “numbers”, the directives, and the bureaucratic statistics.

What impact does this have on the Mission Office of the Jesuits of Canada?

MB: The sponsoring organizations are forced to make impossible ethical choices and are confronted with no-win dilemmas. How can we respond to the real distress of refuges with such quotas? Whom to choose, to the detriment of whom else? What will we do with the delicate but essential question of reuniting families? Will we be forced to separate migrant families? If they don’t increase the limits, how will we be able to function in the face of the flood of demands for asylum.

The federal and provincial governments have underestimated the generosity of Quebecers and Canadians in the matter of welcoming migrants and refugees. They should bet on private sponsorships: tightly woven, connected, galvanized and very well organized, these small groups can play a vital role in welcoming and integrating refugees. It is even more so in the small rural communities where the agents of social transformation in their own milieu, those sponsors live a strong intercultural experience, changing the way their neighbours and fellow citizens look at migrants and refugees.


Do you want to learn more about vocations to the Society of Jesus? Visit www.BeAJesuit.org for more information.





Recent News

January 18, 2019 — In its most recent issue, the Relations presents a nine articles dossier that takes a critical stand on science.

January 18, 2019 — The first Expanded Consult for Canada met on January 11th in Montreal, to reflect on our first six months of experience as a new Province of Canada.

Bishop Attila Mikloshazy died on December 28, 2018 in Pickering, ON. He was in his 87th year and in religious life for 57 years. He published several books including "Benedicamus Domino! Let us Bless the Lord! (The Theological Foundations of the Liturgical Renewal)."

Bishop Attila Mikloshazy died on December 28, 2018 in Pickering, ON. He was in his 87th year and in religious life for 57 years. He published several books including "Benedicamus Domino! Let us Bless the Lord! (The Theological Foundations of the Liturgical Renewal)."

December 20, 2018 — The Church of the Gesù in Montréal has announced a beautiful program of events for the Christmas season: liturgical celebrations, the installation of the creche, Christmas concerts, choirs, recitals and story-telling.

December 20, 2018 — For years, various anglophone and francophone artists in Canada have brought attention to the carol Jesous Ahatonhia. This ode to the birth of Jesus, would have been composed in 1641-42 by Fr. Jean de Brébeuf, during his time in Huronia.

The last days of December and the first days of January are for many a moment of rest and refreshment with family or community. Why not take advantage of Christmas to refresh yourself intellectually and spiritiually? Here are some suggestions for books to nourish your spirit.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Loyola Today

Canadian Jesuits

Relations - Déc 2018



Ignatian Centre
The Ignatian Centre is a Jesuit ministry run by laity dedicated to bringing the Spiritual E...