Thus, SOSC's advocacy for the merit-based appeal as a bona fide alternative to sanctuary and recognizing the two on the same plane seems to cohere with their avoidance of instigating this form of sanctuary in their later efforts.
(Interview 5, 2001; emphasis added) After a few sanctuary incidents had occurred across Canada in preceding years, in 1994 the now defunct Interchurch Committee on Refugees (ICCR) comprising representatives from Canada's mainline churches launched a pilot project called "Keeping Faith." (30) Housing migrants in churches plainly came with challenges and risks and this proposal was an explicit attempt to create a more organized, less risky version of sanctuary (that was not unlike the SOSC's effort, in that no one would know migrants' locations while in sanctuary).
On the eve of the new legislation's promised implementation a key member of SOSC, who is also a refugee advocate, noted that "the new legislation does allow for an appeal at the refugee board and that's a major step forward.
One noted: "Canada is obligated to provide sanctuary to those in need, and there are times like the present, given the lack of appeal, when as citizens and human beings we have a fundamental and moral obligation to provide sanctuary within Canada." (39) The SOSC held their first national consultation in November 2007 (see this issue), bringing together sanctuary providers from beyond the local Ontario region to discuss sanctuary experiences and strategy.
(16.) The continued presence of the SOSC and their tactics in Toronto that differ from other incidents are a partial explanation for the surprising under-representation in sanctuary.