During this holiday season we are asking for your generous support to allow us to continue the work we do

FCJ Refugee Centre wants to thank everyone for your hard work and for continuing to walk with uprooted people.

Despite the changes to Canadian Immigration and Refugee Traditions, the Centre has endeavoured to keep its doors open to uprooted populations from around the world – and in fact has possibly seen more cases than in previous years.

We are truly grateful for your support of our work in the past, and we hope you can continue to help us in different areas.

If you are not familiar with the work we do, please explore the services we provide through our website and learn about our  message below. Also we invite you to read our current newsletter: autumn 2013. You can find updated information related to our settlement services, shelter for women and kids, refugee protection, popular education, wellness, Anti-Human Trafficking Program, ELL classes, etc.

If you wish to make a donation you can do it through our link to Canadahelps or send a cheque to the FCJ Refugee Centre, 208 Oakwood Avenue, Toronto Ontario, M6E 2V4.

All the best

FCJ Refugee Centre





Reinstating Access to Health Care for Refugee Claimants

Ontario Filling Federal Funding Gap with Temporary Health Program
December 9, 2013 11:00 a.m.
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Ontario is joining other provinces by reinstating access to essential and urgent health care for refugee claimants through the new Ontario Temporary Health Program, and will send the federal government the bill to pay for the program.
Last year, the federal government abdicated its responsibility to provide basic care for many refugee claimants by changing the refugee application process in Canada and cutting the Interim Federal Health Program.
Through the temporary provincial program, refugee claimants who are not eligible for health care under the new federal rules or through other government programs will be able to access most primary care and urgent hospital services, as well as medication coverage. Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the program will help reduce unnecessary emergency room visits and stress on health providers by providing vulnerable refugee claimants with basic health care services as soon as a health issue surfaces.
Providing the right care, at the right time and in the right place is part of Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care. This initiative supports Ontario government’s economic plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.
Quick Facts
Ontario is joining Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Quebec by taking steps to address gaps in health coverage for refugee claimants.
Approximately 48,900 or 55 per cent of all refugee claimants in Canada live in Ontario, with the majority in Greater Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa areas.
Refugee claimants tend to have poorer health outcomes and are less likely to have planned their arrival to Canada or to have the financial resources to purchase health insurance privately.
As of result of the federal government’s cuts to its health care refugee program, more than 30 per cent of Ontario’s refugee claimants are without health coverage beyond public health and public safety coverage.



One year on, Canada’s refugee system is failing some of the most vulnerable refugees: CCR

The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) today made public its principal observations on Canada’s revised refugee determination system, as we approach the first anniversary of its implementation. On the eve of Human Rights Day, the CCR laments that refugees’ fundamental rights are threatened in Canada.

“The new refugee system is failing some claimants, including the most vulnerable people who have been traumatized by the persecution they have suffered,” said Loly Rico, President. “As Canadians we are proud of our history of welcoming and protecting refugees: unfortunately Canada is now a less welcoming country, and some refugees who need our protection are not getting it.”

On 15 December 2012, major and controversial changes to Canada’s refugee determination system were implemented. The CCR had consistently raised concerns that the new system would fail to offer some refugees the protection they need from Canada.
The CCR has prepared a report on key points in the new system as observed by members, including the following:

  • The short timelines are causing serious problems: they create high levels of stress and many claimants are unable to prepare themselves adequately for their hearing.
  • The short timelines are particularly damaging for vulnerable claimants, such as survivors of torture and people with health problems or disabilities.
  • We have a two-tier system that discriminates against some claimants, who have less access to protection, on arbitrary grounds, notably based on their country of origin.

Overall, the new system suffers from uncertainty and poorly thought-out measures, which may be the result of going from one extreme (too slow hearings) to the other (too quick hearings). The CCR has consistently advocated that the solution lies in the middle (6 month timelines would work for most claimants).
Link to report, New refugee system – one

Media Release: http://ccrweb.ca/files/refugee-system-one-year-on.pdf



Celebrating the life of Carlos Sebastian!

He was one of the most committed members of our FCJ Refugee Centre’s community, through his dedication and commitment with the uprooted people of the world, he managed to help everyone around him that who was in need.Carlos was just Carlos. Carly as was known by his family in Chile and also he was called the same way here in Canada by Francisco. His way to help anyone started and ended with a smile… if any of us came to him looking for help or support of any type, he always was there ready to help.  Every time he was at the office you could see him, walking around, saying Hi to everyone, making jokes, talking with people. If the office was quite, he loved to do crosswords. He really believed that to do crosswords was the best way to improve the English skills and acknowledge of anyone, including him. He and at least one his children, were the official bartender for our holiday parties… he always was  in charge of making everybody happy without drinking too much. At the end of the party, he always had made the miracle. Plus, there always were leftovers of drinks for the next party.  Although we won’t have his physical presence and his heavy smoker smell, our friend, brother, companion… any longer, his memories, his smile… “siempre haciendo camino al andar”, always Carlos being Carlos… that presences of “Don Quijote” always will be with us. 

Join us in a special act of commemoration of the life of Carlos Sebastian. It will be held on Sunday December 1st  at FCJ Refugee Centre (208 Oakwood Ave, Toronto) at 3:00 pm.

carlos memorial

Building Collaboration to Combat Human Trafficking in the City of Toronto Presentations

https://www.fcjrefugeecentre.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Sapoznik-Keynote-Toronto-Counter-Human-Trafficking-Network-October-28-2013-FINAL-VERSION.pdf                    TOCityCollaboration Roundtable on Human Trafficking Oct 28-2013

Building Collaboration                          An Overview on the Human Trafficking Iniciative


Human Trafficking Presentation CBSA          Internationally trafficked persons - challenges and solutions                       SALCO_PPT - 28 Oct 2012-1

Human Explotation                          Internationally Trafficked Persons          Forced Marriage





Roundtable Series: Agenda October 28-29

agenda oct 21


o   Strengthen the communication and information exchange among stakeholders.

o   Anti-human trafficking model of response for the City of Toronto.

o   Policy recommendations on city and provincial level.

 Roundtable One- 28th and 29th October, 2013

Diverse stakeholders including representatives of the City of Toronto management team, CBSA, OPP, Toronto Police, community agencies and participants will roll up their sleeves and share knowledge and expertise to develop common framework to address human trafficking issues pertaining to the City of Toronto and Ontario.
We would like to ask all participants to reflect on the following questions beforehand in order to have productive session and reach the objectives of the roundtable.
Questions for reflection

  1. What barriers/challenges does your organization/agency face, including barriers/challenges in coordination/collaboration with other organizations in responding to human trafficking case and meeting the needs of victims?
  2. Considering local particularities what responses, interventions, and strategies related to the 4Ps:  Prevention, Protection, Prosecution, Partnership will best address the efforts related to combating human trafficking in all its forms, including labour and sexual exploitation and the emerging gray areas such as forced marriages and why?
  3.  Identify stakeholders that should take part of the holistic response to human trafficking in the city of Toronto.

 2.      Considering local particularities what responses, interventions, and strategies related to the 4Ps:  Prevention, Protection, Prosecution, Partnership will best address the efforts related to combating human trafficking in all its forms, including labour and sexual exploitation and the emerging gray areas such as forced marriages and why?

3.      Identify stakeholders that should take part of the holistic response to human trafficking in the city of Toronto. 

 SPACES ARE LIMITED! Register by sending email at tchtn@fcjrefugeecentre.orgwith your name indicating if attending both days. If attending only one day pleaseSPECIFY WHICH DAY (for catering purposes).

 Payment method:

CREDIT CARD go to Eventbrite ($10+$1.59 on line fee): https://antitraffickingroundtableone.eventbrite.com
CASH or CHECK pay at the door (Lunch will be provided)
Subsidies are available for people who cannot pay the registration fee
For more information contact: Varka Kalaydzhieva at 416
4699754, ext.222 or varka@fcjrefugeecentre.org
The event is funded by the City of Toronto

Press Release: Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network

 Toronto, 10th October, 2013

 City management, Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network, police, human trafficking survivors, community agencies from multiple sectors will gather on the 28th and 29th of October, 2013 for the first in a series of roundtables “Building Collaboration to Combat Human Trafficking in the City of Toronto”.

 The event is organized by the Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network comprising of organisations and individuals working towards the elimination of the crime of human trafficking, while facilitating services and protection to trafficked persons through a holistic approach based on human rights and the needs of each individual.

 These are meetings where participants will roll up their sleeves and share knowledge and expertise to develop common framework to address human trafficking issues pertaining to the city of Toronto. The first roundtable will highlight the current strategies and activities undertaken by diverse stakeholders to address human trafficking and the existing gaps in services and protection for trafficked persons. Working group discussions will set the beginning of a response model and protocol to holistically address the complex needs of trafficked persons. The initial roundtable will be followed by two subsequent meetings throughout next year to complete the initiated work.  

 Councillor Paula Fletcher and Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tom will be present along with survivors of human trafficking who will reflect on their experience while in a situation of trafficking and the road to recovery.        


 The roundtable will take place at the Toronto Harbour Light Ministries, 160 Jarvis St. (at Queen St.) from 9:00 am to 5:00pm.

 Members of the media and the public are invited to attend this informative event.

To accommodate individual media requirements, please contact:

Varka Kalaydzhieva
Anti-Human Trafficking Project Coordinator
Phone: 4699754 ext.226 

              PRESS RELEASSE INVITATION10Oct2013                                                     


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