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59centsYou may have seen the video circulating the internet of a doctor and a medical student interrupting a government announcement. You may have heard something about Bill C-31, and its affects on the health of Refugees in this country.

Earlier this month, the Anglican Diocese of Rupert’s Land took the Federal Government to court over this issue. With over 450 church-sponsored refugees arriving in the diocese over the past 18 months, this is a big issue. It’s an issue of justice, and calls us to act to live out the gospel.

It means that the agreements the government had with the diocese, which included coverage of the costs of medication, dental and vision care will now have to be covered by the refugees or their sponsors, according to Tom Denton who directs the Hospitality House Refugee Ministry in Winnipeg.

In the Anglican Church of Canada, we also have 5 Marks of Mission. Two of these Marks of Mission apply directly to this situation:

  • To respond to human need by loving service
  • To seek to transform unjust structures of society

Going to court is one thing, but what can we as churches, individuals, and young people do? As Canadian citizens, we have every right to make our voices heard (and not just on election day). So, what can young people, youth groups, and whole congregations do? What’s one thing we can invite our friends to participate in?

Recently a group of students from Manitoba created the 59 cent campaign – a grassroots movement to make our voices heard, and tell the government it is not okay to cut funding for some of Canada’s most vulnerable residents. It only costs $0.59 per Canadian to keep health care alive for refugees in Canada. That’s something each of us can do.

Check out their website and watch this video to find out more:


Andrew Stephens-Rennie

About Andrew Stephens-Rennie

Andrew is an Anglican lay leader who loves pioneering responsive, contextual solutions to the challenge of being church in the 21st Century. He serves as an assistant to the rector for Evangelism and Christian Formation at Christ Church Cathedral Vancouver and is a founding member of the emerging St. Brigids community (www.stbrigid.ca).
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