For immediate release

22 November 2005


Montreal. The Canadian Council for Refugees today announced that Elizabeth McWeeny was elected President at the organization’s recent Annual General Meeting, held in London, Ontario.  Liz McWeeny is the Coordinator of Refugee Sponsorship for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Thunder Bay and a representative of the D.O.O.R.S. to New Life Refugee Centre.

“I have been involved in refugee and immigration issues for twenty five years and seen a steep deterioration in the way our government responds to refugees seeking Canada’s protection,” said Liz McWeeny. “Canada is failing to live up to its international obligations to protect refugees when it blocks access to those requesting the asylum they so desperately need and refuses to provide a fair and effective means to ensure that those who do get here receive protection and a permanent solution.  At the same time, ordinary Canadians have shown our commitment to humanitarian values and to welcoming and supporting many thousands of refugee women, men and children needing a place of safety. I firmly believe that few Canadians really support the long term separation of refugee families, the indefinite detention of persons without a fair process and the withholding of real solutions for persons accepted as refugees to Canada. There is a huge contradiction between the heart of the Canadian people and the willful disregard for Canada’s moral and legal responsibilities perpetrated by our current Government. No one can deny the desperate need of refugees to have a safe haven. Canada’s international obligations support our responsibilities to ensure they receive that protection.”

Ms McWeeny takes over from Nick Summers, who continues on the Executive as Past President.  The members of the Canadian Council for Refugees also elected Amy Casipullai for a second term as Vice-President as well as a number of other Executive Committee members.

The CCR also released at its London consultation its annual status report, highlighting key positive and negative aspects in the federal government’s treatment of refugees and immigrants over the past year.  The report is available at   The consultation also saw the launch of a CCR national campaign calling for protection of survivors of trafficking in Canada (for details, go to

Elizabeth McWeeny, President, tel. 807-346-5998
Janet Dench, Executive Director, tel. (514) 277-7223 ext. 2

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 180 organizations involved in refugee sponsorship and protection and in newcomer settlement. The CCR serves the networking, information-exchange and advocacy needs of its membership.

6839 Drolet #302, Montréal, QC, Canada H2S 2T1 TEL.: (514) 277-7223 FAX : (514) 277-1447