The idea has been put forward of helping a family fleeing the Ukraine war settle in Maple Creek. In April, Father Dick Kennedy and Rev. Michele Rowe began exploring the possibility of community sponsorship in light of the influx of refugees to Canada.
“At that time there was no process in place from the Federal Government regarding Ukrainian Refugee Sponsorship, and we did not pursue it any further,” they said in a May 31 letter, which was discussed at the June 14 Maple Creek Town Council meeting.
“However, after talking about the issue with various members of our community, we were given the general feeling that we should proceed with the sponsorship idea, offering our assistance to any refugee family who wishes to settle in Maple Creek. There are thousands of refugees from around the world seeking a safe haven in Canada.”
The letter invites representatives of the Town, churches, and community organizations to a planning meeting at the Legion Hall on Wednesday, June 8 at 7pm in the Normandy Room.
“This meeting is to determine if there is enough support, financially and physically, in our community to sponsor a family in need, and to establish our next steps.”
The letter makes it clear that the sponsorship venture is a community activity, not a church one, even though Rev. Rowe is pastor of the United Church and Fr. Dick is an Anglican Church member.
Michelle McKenzie, the Mayor, said Council needed to be made aware of time-sensitive events like meetings that are contained in correspondence.
Councillor Cara Teichroeb said she was upset that the Council had missed the meeting.
“As Council, we needed to be at that meeting showing our support.”
Too many times, she said, something important had got “stuck in the mail”.
She added: “I hope we reach out to that group and explain we want to be part of that initiative, if that is what we choose to do as a Council.”