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article imageRally demands the federal government support refugee claimants Special

By Paula Kirman     Dec 11, 2014 in Politics
Edmonton - December 10 was International Human Rights Day, which was chosen by several organizations to hold a rally to call for Canada's federal government to support refugee claimants.
Members of Public Interest Alberta, the Multicultural Health Brokers, and other organizations gathered outside of the office of Member of Parliament Peter Goldring (Edmonton East). The rally was opposing Bill C-43, and omnibus bill which would allow individual provinces the ability to refuse social support and services for refugee claimants.
Rally to for the Government Support Refugee Claimants.
Rally to for the Government Support Refugee Claimants.
"When we met with Peter Goldring on November 12, we explained we are deeply concerned about the potential negative impact on individuals seeking asylum in Canada not having their basic needs met at a deeply vulnerable time,” said Yvonne Chiu, Executive Director of the Edmonton Multicultural Health Brokers in a media release. “We want to know why the federal government will not uphold the fundamental human rights obligation of ensuring everyone's basic needs are met without discrimination. It should not take more than a month to respond to a basic question.”
Rally to for the Government Support Refugee Claimants. Yvonne Chiu  Multicultural Health Brokers.
Rally to for the Government Support Refugee Claimants. Yvonne Chiu, Multicultural Health Brokers.
What response there was from Goldring was not acceptable, according to Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “Historically, Canada has had a reputation of helping vulnerable populations get back on their feet, so we were shocked when Peter Goldring asked why the families could not just go to a homeless shelter,” he said.
Rally to for the Government Support Refugee Claimants. Bill Moore Kilgannon  Public Interest Alberta...
Rally to for the Government Support Refugee Claimants. Bill Moore Kilgannon, Public Interest Alberta.
Speakers at the rally also included Susana Morales Soto, a refugee who came to Canada with her family from Mexico and was recently granted Landed Immigrant status, and long-time community activist Jim Gurnett who is the former Executive Director of the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers.
Rally for the Federal Government to Support Refugee Claimants. Susana Morales Soto.
Rally for the Federal Government to Support Refugee Claimants. Susana Morales Soto.
Rally to for the Government Support Refugee Claimants. Jim Gurnett.
Rally to for the Government Support Refugee Claimants. Jim Gurnett.
Goldring was in Ottawa and not available for comment. His office manager said he was aware of the rally taking place.
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