The biggest news was the dinner on May 5 to raise money for our refugee sponsorship
program. With 100 people paying $40 apiece, we raised $5,400. The volunteer team, led by Margo Pineau, Janet Clancy, Sue Montgomery, and Joan Honguh, did an amazing job of getting merchants to contribute, organizing a large and enthusiastic volunteer team and creating a great atmosphere. Much of the food was
generously donated by local restaurants and groceries. An anonymous donor provided a selection of especially good wines, which was sold by the glass to add significantly to the total collected. The wonderful Séguin, Mayrand, Edding trio played with skill and verve throughout the evening.
Meanwhile, we’ve been in contact with both the federal and provincial governments, through the office of Marc Garneau, our Member of Parliament, and through the Québec ministère de
l'immigration, diversité et inclusion - where the minister is our MNA, Kathleen Weil.
We've been told that the recent slowdown in processing of refugees reflects extra caution in the wake of the Paris and Brussels attacks. Security checks have become even more thorough. The
concern is that the public might turn against refugees if the wrong people slipped in due to lax
security. We are told that two new pushes are coming, one this spring and the other this fall, to make sure all families who are in process get here this year.
It's been confirmed that both of our families' dossiers are in the embassies in Amman, Jordan and Beirut, Lebanon, and that security checks are in progress and medical checks have been ordered. These are the final steps in the process — apart from booking a flight.
We still don't know how long it will take. Things appear to be moving faster in Beirut than in
Amman, so our "second" family may arrive first.
We're in constant contact with both families. Both have been consistently good-humoured and very grateful in dealing with us. We can't wait to have them here.
Thanks to all the volunteers and contributors who've been so generous with their time and money — and patience.