Refugee Committee Update--January 2017

The OMM Refugee Committee re-submitted our revised sponsorship application for our chosen family of 6 in June 2016 as “Community Sponsors” after the government imposed quotas on Sponsorship Agreement Holders and we needed to take back our original application from the Canadian Unitarian Council. 

It is now more than 6 months later and we have not yet heard from the government offices in Winnipeg that they have started to process it.  In October we asked the office of our MP Catherine McKenna to inquire on our behalf about progress.  We learned that they were only then working on applications dated November 2015. This was very disheartening.  In December we contacted Catherine McKenna’s office again but there is no clear indication of progress.

We have been very grateful to the Irving Avenue group who helped with fund-raising and continue to engage with us.  We as a committee have taken the opportunity to speak with the family in Istanbul via Skype several times and two teenage girls from the Irving Ave. group have been in more regular contact with the children of the family including teaching English as a second language.

Our settlement committee has considered the best area for our newcomers to live and where we have strength to support them as they settle in to school, language classes, job searches and just learning about Canada.  As well, plans for a welcoming dinner, fun for the children and regular potlucks are ready to go.