12 December 2003


Montreal. The Canadian Council for Refugees today announced that Nick Summers was elected President at the organization's recent Annual General Meeting. Mr Summers, a lawyer working in St John's, Newfoundland, takes over from Kemi Jacobs, who served the CCR as president for the past two years.

"I have been involved in refugee and immigration issues for almost fifteen years and I cannot recall another time when Canada and its Government have been so heartless and uncaring towards the fate of the world's refugees," said Summers. "The current Government's policies on refugees seem to consist almost entirely of ways to avoid Canada's moral and legal responsibilities by ensuring that the doors are locked against the vast majority of refugee claimants and that those few who do get here have fewer rights and protections. The desperate need of refugees to have a safe haven and Canada's international obligations have not changed in the last number of years. What has changed is the Government's willingness look the other way."

The Canadian Council for Refugees also elected Amy Casipullai as Vice-President and a number of other Executive Committee members. Thirty resolutions on a wide range of topics, including trafficking in women and children, statelessness and the rights of Canadian citizens abroad, were also adopted by the membership.


Nick Summers, President, 709-753-7860 (ext. 333) or cell. 709-682-9329

The Canadian Council for Refugees is a non-profit umbrella organization committed to the rights and protection of refugees in Canada and around the world and to the settlement of refugees and immigrants in Canada. The membership is made up of over 175 organizations involved in refugee sponsorship and protection and in newcomer settlement. The CCR serves the networking, information-exchange and advocacy needs of its membership., CCR office: 514-277-7223