Eight Vancouver lawyers begin the process of sponsoring refugees with a greater sense of urgency in wake of the Paris attacks.
Vancouver labour lawyers have just started the process of sponsoring 3 refugee claimants by raising $35,000 using their connections and expertise despite the recent rise in concern surrounding the uncertainty of safety posed by newcomers.
Eric Girard an Associate at Watson and Goepel along with seven other colleagues have decided to use their position of privilege, wealth and knowledge to monopolize on their established connections with other members of the bar. Girard sees his contribution just as “a mechanic driving down the road would if he saw someone’s car broken down, and would feel the obligation to help.” The Associate says the donations will cover the cost of living, transportation and other necessities for the refugees
Just after the Paris terrorist attacks several Canadians already hesitant about bringing in 25,000 new refugees and 2,490 in Metro Vancouver by early December have felt even greater cause for concern. Jodie Gauthier a lawyer and member of the sponsor group says “if anything, this is proof that these kinds of sponsorships are needed, there’s a greater sense of urgency for people to receive the protection they need.”
Lily Lin the Division Manager of Communications at the Immigrant Service Society of B.C. says, “we are talking about people who are leaving desperate situations.” She is not surprised by Girard and Gauthier’s ethical obligation in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, she says ”there has been no decrease in the number of sponsorships being requested after the weekend, which reflects the true moral standpoint of Canadians.”