In May 2012 the Government of Canada announced that it was cutting funding for the Interim Federal Health Program, a mechanism designed to provide much-needed health care to refugees upon their arrival in Canada. Following the cuts, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada and Adele Finney, Executive Director of PWRDF wrote two letters to then-Minister of Immigration, Jason Kenney. Those letters, sent on behalf of the 15 Anglican dioceses that hold refugee Sponsorship Agreements with the government, expressed strong concern about the negative impacts the cuts to the IFH program would have on both refugees and private sponsors of refugees.
Almost four years later PWRDF was very pleased to learn that the government was fully restoring the program and planning to extend it to refugees preparing to come to Canada from overseas. Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum and Minister of Health, Jane Philpott, made the announcement jointly earlier this month. The following letter from the Primate and Adele Finney expresses gratitude on behalf of Canadian Anglicans for this very welcome development.