The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A2
Dear Prime Minister:
As a Canadian Unitarian, I am writing to voice my concern regarding your government’s difficulty in fulfilling the promise you made to refugees in January 2017: “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength.”
Our Unitarian Universalist principles call us to uphold the inherent worth and dignity of all peoples, to work for justice, equity and compassion in human relations, and to work for the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all. In service to these principles, many Canadian Unitarians are involved in refugee sponsorship, and in 2015 and 2016, have helped bring in over 200 refugees.
We know that there is a backlog of almost 40,000 cases awaiting processing, and that the need for refugees to be welcomed to the safety of Canada increases in urgency on a daily basis. A government analysis obtained by the Canadian Press forecasts the number of refugee claimants in Canada will hit 36,000 this year, and rise by as much as 20 per cent a year after that.The United Nations’ Refugee Agency calculates there are more displaced people on the planet right now – 65 million – than at any point since the Second World War.
Canada is in a position to lead by example. I urge you to fulfill your promise to refugees by allocating the resources needed to deal with the backlog in applications, to fill staffing positions, to increase quotas for entry, and to create policies and practices that are effective, responsive and transparent.
Address and Phone
Canadian Unitarian Universalism is a diverse religion bound by a common commitment to equity and justice. We covenant to a set of principles, which calls us to seek peace, liberty and compassion, to search for truth and meaning, and to respect the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and the democratic process.