Canadian Advocacy Success Story

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The Bible is filled with calls to Christians to defend the cause of the powerless, care for the orphaned and widow, welcome the stranger, and to seek justice.  Sometimes, though, we can grow weary in efforts to pursue justice.  If you are in need of encouragement, consider this success story from the Centre for Public Dialogue. 

Through the compassionate advocacy of many Canadians, policies were changed to  ease the burden on refugees. May this story encourage you in your own advocacy efforts.  

While this story shows success, there is still room for policy improvements. If you would like to advocate for the full waiving of refugee travel loans in Canada, you can send a message to your MP here.

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Community Builder

I would have rather seen CRCers, and local CRC churches who would so inclined, actually pay the loan interest and early required payments. 

Indeed, it's pretty easy to "advocate" for refugees by essentially using the power of the sword (government) to take money from others (taxpayers) to pay these obligations.  There's a old cliche for this.  I for one liked better the 'old days' (in the US at least) when individuals and organizations (like local churches) accepted responsibility for refugees and immigrants.  The evolution to centralized government taking that responsibility is not progress in my mind, but in the long run counter-productive.

Community Builder

HI Doug.  That's a good point.  There are multiple ways to respond to injustice and need.  I know that many CRC people and churches have done just what you suggest.  They sponsor refugee families to come to Canada.  In addition to providing the required housing and support for a year, they have also fundraised to cover the costs of the travel loans.  This is great. 

If we believe that asking refugees to pay for their own travel costs (and charging them interest on these loans) is unjust, then it is also prudent for Christians to advocate for this policy to change.  I think it can be a both/and situation, and not necessarily a choice between one or the other.  I also think that some people might not be in a place to give financially, but can use their voice.  Others might not feel comfortable doing advocacy (or might not feel called to get involved in this way), but are willing to give financially.  Neither is better or worse than the other, and both can be used for God's purposes.