2.D Refugee-Sponsor Relationship
D.3 What happens if a dispute between sponsors and refugees cannot be resolved?
(iii) What are the consequences for the refugees in case of a sponsorship breakdown after their arrival?
How Canada Does It
When there is an unresolvable dispute between sponsors and refugees, and the Government of Canada declares a breakdown, the primary responsibility for locating a new sponsoring group lies with the original sponsor, whenever possible. Sponsorship breakdown does not affect the refugees’ legal status as permanent residents in Canada, regardless of whether they are responsible for the breakdown.
If a new sponsoring group cannot be located, the Government of Canada will connect refugees with the appropriate municipal, provincial or federal authorities.
SUPPORT DURING A SPONSORSHIP DISPUTE: During the period of dispute between sponsors and refugees and investigation into a potential breakdown, Government of Canada officers may arrange for emergency settlement assistance and financial support if the refugees are not receiving adequate support from the sponsor. Officers consider needs such as rental payment, utility costs, groceries, household products, medication, children’s needs, public transportation and any medical or psychological needs. It is essential that arrangements be made to address the ongoing needs of the refugee while the Government of Canada investigates reasons for insufficient levels of support.
SUPPORT AFTER A BREAKDOWN IS DECLARED: Once a breakdown is declared, the primary responsibility for locating a new sponsoring group lies with the original sponsor, wherever possible. For example, if the breakdown is the result of the refugees relocating, to another part of the country, the sponsor is responsible for trying to find a new sponsoring group in their new community of resettlement.
If the Government of Canada declares a sponsorship breakdown, the sponsors are no longer expected to provide financial and settlement support to the refugees. If no alternative sponsoring group is found, sponsored refugees will first be referred to municipal or provincial social assistance programs. If they are refused social assistance, they are then referred the federally funded Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP). Refugees referred to the RAP will receive federal income support until the end of their sponsorship period or until they become self-sufficient. If they are not self-sufficient by the end of the sponsorship period, they will then become eligible for municipal and provincial social assistance.
Sponsorship breakdown does not affect the refugees’ legal status as permanent residents in Canada, regardless of whether they are responsible for the breakdown (see 2.C.1).