Protesters push city to declare Winnipeg sanctuary for migrants
Several dozen protesters braved the Winnipeg cold to push city council to declare the city a sanctuary for undocumented migrants.
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, February 3, 2017 3:45PM CST
WINNIPEG -- Several dozen protesters braved the Winnipeg cold to push city council to declare the city a sanctuary for undocumented migrants.
One rally organizer, Hazim Ismail, says Winnipeg should follow in the steps of cities such as Toronto, which declared itself a sanctuary city in 2013.
He says the declaration would help ensure programs helping refugee claimants and other are maintained, and provide a safer environment for undocumented migrants.
Speakers at the rally say Canada needs to offer more help after moves by the United States to ban refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman has been non-committal.
In a written statement, Bowman's press secretary said it's not clear what effect, if any, would come from declaring the city a sanctuary.
"At this point, front line agencies and organizations helping and assisting new arrivals have not identified a need to declare Winnipeg a 'sanctuary city,"' Jonathan Hildebrand wrote.
"It also isn't clear what the increased benefits or improvements would be from a declaration of this nature. Nevertheless, Mayor Bowman remains open to the idea, and welcomes feedback and thoughts from the community about the need to undertake a declaration such as this."