On February 13, 2012, the Anglican Church and the Government of Canada celebrated an agreement under which nearly 50 families were brought to Canada from Afghanistan, Somalia and Iran. Anglican dioceses hold sponsorship agreements with the government which has enabled them to bring approximately 150 refugees to Canada.
These families were selected and referred to Canada for resettlement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The initiative to resettle the families was part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Anglican Church’s Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. The patron of the project was Former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson.
Archbishop and Primate Fred Hiltz said that, “The Refugees Project, featuring a theme of ‘In Faith, Join Hands, Inspire Hope,’ was one of the most exciting initiatives associated with the 50th anniversary of the Fund.”
The refugee families belonged to various countries across the world including Afghanistan, Burma (Myanmar), Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Sudan.
The Government of Canada is looking to increase the number of refugees to be resettled by 20% and to steadily increase the number of those resettled by the Government-Assisted Refugee Program to 500 over time. The government is also likely to add 2000 resettlement places to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.