Canadian Sanctuary Network


Welcome to the Canadian sanctuary network: a voluntary network which advocates fair treatment for refugee claimants and, where possible, seeks remedies for refugee claimants who have been mistakenly rejected.

Dedicated to continue Canada's best traditions of "welcoming the stranger".

Beyond Tweets: Welcoming Refugees from Fortress America

Video of this event is now available for viewing within Dropbox and/or downloading (Bandwidth warning: the video is quite large, at 897 Mb for part 1 and 903 Mb for part 2). Click here for access.

Event description:

A public meeting to discuss the historical roots of the sanctuary movement in the US, the current situation for refugees there, the Safe Third Country agreement between Canada and the US, and the Canadian response to refugees in general, and those arriving from the US.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 from 7:00-9:00 pm, Church of the Holy Trinity, 10 Trinity Square, Toronto.


  • Deborah Anker, Director of Harvard University Immigration and Refugee Clinic which recently released a report on the impact of President Trump's Executive Orders on asylum seekers,
  • John Fife, co-founder of the Sanctuary movement in the U.S.A. initiated the concept of sanctuary to save refugees from Central America in the 1980s,
  • Mary Jo Leddy, Canadian Sanctuary Network founder has worked to secure safe spaces for refugees fearing risk following deportation from Canada, and
  • Janet Dench, Director of Canadian Council for Refugees, expert on Canadian refugee policy and practice and current developments in Canada.

Moderated by Amy Casipullai, Policy Director of Ontario Coalition of Agencies Serving Immigrants.


new and featured

  • the legal implications of offering sanctuary: a statement from the Canadian Sanctuary Network (revised  3 May 2017)
  • [Toronto, February 8, 2016] A major injustice was redressed this past week by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum in his decision to issue a two-year multiple entry Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) to the Pusuma family from Hungary who were deported in December 2014, and to approve them for permanent status once they get here.  Read the full story here
  • A Most Remarkable Outreach to Refugees:Video of the 9 June 2015 meeting with Hanns Thomae and Rita Kantemir-Thomae, about the sanctuary movement in Germany: see events page for the YouTube link.
  • Voices for Sanctuary (12 min) offers a view of the human elements of sanctuary: the shared experience of offering and receiving safe shelter. The film explores the associated highs and lows, joys and challenges of sanctuary, as well as the history and inspiration behind the Canadian Sanctuary Network. It is intended to raise awareness and to serve as a resource for faith communities interested in the practice. See it in our Videos section.
  • tools for action: an introductory resource pack for congregations
  • guidelines for church groups and congregations considering sanctuary

Canadian Sanctuary Network
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