2 Years 2 Many: PSA Campaign on Refugee Rights

"2 Years 2 Many" is a short video produced to raise awareness in the general public about the challenges that Canadian refugees face. Featuring Degrassi’s Sarah Barrable-Tishauer and Jake Goldsbie, the campaign was created with 24 communication students at Concordia University and human rights lawyer Mitchell Goldberg.

From the Press Release:

Concordia Students and Actors Fight for Refugee Rights

What if you had to wait up to two years for your refugee status to be determined? For refugees coming to Canada, this is an unfortunate reality.

Montreal, March 10th, 2009 –
Refugees coming to Canada experience lengthy delays in waiting for the Canadian Government to process their claims. The Immigration and Refugee Board’s Report on Plans and Priorities, 2009-2010, warns that wait times will continue to increase dramatically over the coming years. This is why actors from Degrassi: The Next Generation, human rights advocates and Communications students from Concordia University have come together to create a viral video campaign to pressure Canada’s Immigration Ministry to ensure that the Immigration and Refuge Board of Canada has all the resources it needs to make timely decisions.

Featuring Degrassi’s Sarah Barrable-Tishauer and Jake Goldsbie, the campaign has all the ingredients to make waves nation-wide. “It is wonderful to witness a group of 24 communication studies students taking a stand and making a contribution – it’s the Concordia way,” says Liz Miller, communications professor and executive producer of the project. Not only have the students heard passionate testimonies but they have also realized the impact they could have on the government’s decisions.

Since 2006, the Harper government has allowed refugee judge positions to remain vacant. While the recent wave of appointments is promising, the newly published Auditor General’s report makes it clear that the problems run deeper. A backlog of claims combined with a politicized reappointment process affects taxpayers and most importantly, the lives of refugees. With their lives in limbo, refugees need to know if they will be protected in Canada and if they can be reunited with family.

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