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NEWS: Showdown between sanctuary movement and Harper government looms

“The Southern Ontario Sanctuary Coalition’s effort to convince more churches to offer sanctuary sets the stage for a showdown between church groups and the federal government, and comes as the government prepares to enforce tough restrictions on refugee claimants. …There have been four cases of sanctuary in the Toronto area over the past year, said Michael Creal, a retired York University professor and founder of the coalition. …’If congregations are prepared to help, that’s a start. We’re entering new territory.’ …’Sanctuary is a stopgap,’ said Creal, 85. ‘We don’t want a million people living in church basements. Our end game is to have revisions to Bill C-31 to make things more fair.’ Creal said the pending refugee legislation would make a rejected asylum-seeker wait for a year before filing a humanitarian appeal. Essentially, that means he or she would be deported from Canada and, months later, file a request from overseas. …Creal said the coalition wants Bill C-31 amended to eliminate the wait for filing an appeal.” To read the full Toronto Star article, please go to http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1271191–failed-refugee-claimants-find-sanctuary-in-toronto-churches. For Council of Canadians commentary critical of C-31, please see http://canadians.org/blog/?p=15712.