Executive Director's Message

Canada's Humanitarian Commitments

May 2023 / Toronto

The stories of escape from escalating indiscriminate violence are harrowing. An adult daughter sharing how it took her and her diabetic mother six days to get to the Egyptian border. Another telling of calling Global Affairs Canada to register herself and family as bullets and bombs dropped all around them and being told to ‘shelter in place’; not hearing back until weeks later when a call came that there was space on a German airlift at a place twenty-five kilometers away. She made it and is now back home in Canada.

Borders and Budgets

April 2023 / Toronto

The last week of March was a perfect storm. A gathering or cascade of negative news for our most marginalized communities and individuals made vulnerable by systems and political priorities that broaden and deepen the chasm between those who own and control points of access and those who are seen as expendable.

Access is a four letter F word (Fair)

March 2023 / Toronto

My inbox has been filled these past weeks of this new year with pleas for support for women facing deportation orders, some with Canadian born children still breastfeeding.

In almost all cases they’ve exhausted all appeals and have thrown themselves on the mercy of the Canadian government by filing a Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) application. An H&C can take up to three years or more to process, and does not delay or stop a deportation order. The success rates is less than fifty percent.

Thoughts on Things

February 2023 / Toronto

The new year dawned with me in a security line heading out of Kenya’s international airport in Nairobi. It was my first sojourn to East Africa and I marveled at the majority of white faces around me. Judging from the immigration control lines which they joined, many are representatives of international NGOs including UN Agencies or returning spouses of Black Kenyan migrants to Europe and North America.

A New Deal for the Immigrant and Refugee Serving Sector

January 2023 / Toronto

It is the fourth day of Kwanzaa as I sit down to write this first blog of the new year, three days before the first day of 2023. Kwanzaa is a Pan-African diasporic holiday celebration created in 1966 by African-American Maulana Ron Karenga. It celebrates history, community, family and culture. And the seven principles celebrated over seven days (December 26th to January 1st) are grounded in the Swahili language, one of the most commonly spoken African languages across the continent.


November 2022 / Toronto

There is disruption in the air. Disruption to the status quo, to the usual. This may turn out to be both good and bad.

My thought this past first weekend of the month as we hit mid-twenties temperatures- “even mother nature is in a disruptive mood.” This thought brought about by the freakishly warm weather mother nature has served up here in Ontario in November, signaling the direction our planet is headed, as we continue to tinker around the edges of climate change. Worrying even while we enjoy the warmish winds.

Autumn Reflections

October 2022 / Toronto

On the eve of the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation - Orange Shirt Day, I had an interesting exchange with a colleague. She shared that there was a critique emerging of organizations who did nothing but share lists of things to do for this second year of what I call ‘truth-telling’.

Moving The Needle

September 2022 / Toronto

Community organizations working with 2SLGBTIQ+ communities have been advocating for many years to be recognized in federal government priorities, plans and funding. Finally, the government of Canada has introduced a national plan with funding. But it falls short in many areas including the exclusion of im/migrant and refugee Queer folk. I've invited my colleagues from OCASI-PSI to share their thoughts in my blog.