Open the Door: Faith and Sanctuary

7:00 pm, Church of the Redeemer, 162 Bloor W  Toronto, ON M5S 1M4.

The changes to Canada’s refugee law which came into effect on December 15 are already having a devastating effect on people seeking safety from violence and persecution. The changes will have particularly damaging effects on those such as ethnic minority groups from so-called “safe countries”, women escaping from domestic and gender-based violence, and LGBTQ asylum-seekers.

In response, faith communities are coming together to advocate for more just and balanced laws, and to support those asking for refugee status in Canada. Some, in addition, have felt called to offer sanctuary to refugee claimants at risk of deportation, violence and possible death. This panel will discuss some of the effects of the new law, and reasons why some faith communities may feel that offering sanctuary can be an obligation of conscience.

Speakers will include writer and activist Mary Jo Leddy, and Tamar Witelson, legal director of METRAC, who will speak about the specific impact of the changes on women. A statement from the Pusuma family, who are currently living in sanctuary, will be presented, and additional speakers may be announced. Brian Walsh (Urban Remixed) will moderate.

Sponsored by the University of Toronto Campus Chaplains’ Association, Trinity College Chaplaincy, the Canadian Sanctuary Network, Church of the Redeemer, and Urban Remixed.

Panel on opposing Bill C-31


7:30 pm, November 29th, Church of the Holy Trinity, 10 Trinity Sq, Toronto, ON (video available)

  • Peter Showler Director of the Refugee Forum, University of Ottawa, former Chair of the Immigration Refugee Board
  • Mary Jo Leddy Regis College, Founder of Romero House
  • Meb Rashid Medical Director of Crossroads Clinic, Women’s College Hospital
  • Loly Rico Co-director of the FCJ Refugee Centre and Interim President of the Canadian Council for Refugees

Presented by The Canadian Council for Refugees, the Southern Ontario Sanctuary Coalition, Amnesty International, and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers