African asylum seekers receive SIN numbers


Pastor Judith James

More than 200 African asylum seekers who were temporarily sheltered at the Revivaltime Tabernacle in Toronto were recently “processed” by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and have been “placed in proper shelters,” Judith James, a pastor at the church told The Caribbean Camera.

Pastor James said the majority of the asylum seekers have already received their social insurance numbers and are now legally permitted to work in Canada.

“We are, of course, happy that they have received their (social insurance) numbers. There are many people from Africa who have been in Canada for three to five years and still do not have their numbers,” she noted.

The asylum seekers had been living on the streets in downtown Toronto.

“Many of them came from war-torn countries. They came to make a way for their families,” she said.

Last July several mostly Black-led community organizations and faith groups organized buses to take the asylum seekers off the street.

Pastor James said the men were staying in her church’s gymnasium, while the women were put into two large rooms.

All of the asylum seekers were given an opportunity to shower, James said, and provided with food.

The City of Toronto had said it could no longer cope with the high number of homeless people hoping to access a bed.