Sponsorship and Quebec
You may have heard that the Couillard government of Quebec will temporarily suspend new private refugee sponsorship applications as of Jan. 27, due to the high number of cases currently bring processed.
Sheila, our chair of the SRSC, has been assured by Action Réfugiés Montréal that this upcoming freeze on new sposorships will in no way affect our ongoing sponsorship efforts.
News of the family of six we are matched with.
We have recently received some distressing news through our co-sponsor Salman about one of the children in the family. As you know, the family has been in Saudi Arabia on Visitor visas since fleeing the war in Syria over a year ago (and these visas must be renewed every three months and the fee is now about $600 placing a considerable strain on the family's resources). Abdallah, 10 years old, had gone for a walk on December 13 with his 78 year old grandfather and while they were walking they were hit by a car driven by a reckless driver. Both Abdallah and his grandfather were thrown quite a distance and each suffered compound leg fractures. Abdalllah and his grandfather each had surgery in Dammam , Saudi Arabia. Grandfather now has a metal rod in his leg, and Abdallah had the first of two rods inserted surgically. Their leg bones were not just broken but smashed and both of them subsequently developed infections in the open wounds requiring antibiotics which seem to be working. The insurance company for the driver who caused the accident has paid for the operations for both, but will not cover follow up care such as medications, physiotherapy, etc.
We in the SRSC committee are currently wondering if there are ways we can help out. As a start we are drafting letters to the new immigration minister (the Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen, Minister of Refugees, Immigration, and Citizenship ) to be presented to each congregation for signatures in hopes of speeding up the acceptance process.
On a much happier note, Salman has informed the committee that his youngest brother and his wife and 2 children (ages 4 & 2) arrived in Montreal from Turkey on December 13th! He had the financial support of another sponsor for that family, and their process had taken 'only' 11 months. The family of four stayed with Salman and Bassma until January 1st, and are now in a 3 1/2 apartment in Ville St Laurent. Salman was able to find furniture, warm clothing, etc with some help from Mehmet (president of the Dorval mosque) although they are still looking for a small washing machine.