PRESS RELEASE: Guinean Community members facing deportation invite Mairesse Valerie Plante to meet about Montreal’s Sanctuary City Policy

Press Release

Guinean Community members facing deportation invite Mairesse Valerie Plante to meet about Montreal’s Sanctuary City Policy

Media Contacts:
Ansou Barry, Guinean Committee in Support of Status for All: 514-402-2675

Mostafa Henaway, Immigrant Workers Centre: 514-659-0106
Email: statutpourlesguineens@gmail.com

Montreal, 18 Dec 2017 —  On International Migrant Day Monday December 18th, Guinean community members facing deportation call on Mairesse Valerie Plante to meet with them and discuss Montreal’s Sanctuary City policy. Nearly a year after the City of Montreal’s adoption of a Sanctuary City policy in February 2017, several members of the Guinean community are facing imminent deportation back to Guinea. The Guinean Committee in Support of Status for All has invited Valerie Plante to meet with the committee and discuss concrete measures to support non-status community members living in Montreal.


Ansou Barry,* a member of the committee, is a refused refugee claimant who will face violence and religious persecution if sent back to Guinea. “I fear for my life if I am sent back to Guinea. Montreal is my home now and I am asking Plante to do something for me and other people like me living in Montreal,” says Barry.

Although the Canadian government deems Guinea a safe country to return to, Guinean asylum seekers will be in grave danger if they are forced to return due to human rights abuses, regional instability and high unemployment in the country.  “We are hoping that Plante will differentiate herself from Coderre and help make Montreal a real sanctuary city for all asylum seekers,” explains Barry.


Over the last year, Quebec has seen a surge in the number of refugees seeking asylum. Since last December, the requests for asylum made by numerous members of the Guinean community in Montreal have been refused in mass. Those refused, who are currently facing threats of deportation, registered in a context where deportations to Guinea were slowed due to the Ebola epidemic from 2013 to 2016.

“Guinean asylum seekers’ lives will be at risk if they are forced to return to Guinea. Some of the committee members used to be active members of the opposition and were forced to flee the country, while others have had their lives threatened by their own families. What will Plante do for them?,” says Mostafa Henaway of the Immigrant Workers Centre.  


In February 2017, the Coderre government introduced a Sanctuary City policy which community organizations and Valerie Plante herself criticized as limited and symbolic. Hundreds of 

Sanctuary Cities already exist in the United States, and more recently Sanctuary City policies have been passed in Toronto, Hamilton and Vancouver. There are at least 50,000 undocumented migrants in Montreal.

“Can Plante call Montreal a Sanctuary City if asylum seekers continue to be deported and Montreal community members with precarious immigration status have no access to public services like healthcare? Is Montreal really a Sanctuary City if the Montreal Police continue to work with the Canadian Border Services Agency?,” asks Henaway.  

Source: the Guinean Committee in Support of Status for All

Media Contacts:
Ansou Barry, Guinean Committee in Support of Status for All: 514-402-2675

Mostafa Henaway, Immigrant Workers Centre: 514-659-0106
Email: statutpourlesguineens@gmail.com

Background Information:
Guineans protest in Montreal Sunday against deportations:

http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/guineans-to-hold-protest-in-montreal-sunday-against-deportations

– Montreal becomes ‘sanctuary city’ after unaminous vote: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/montreal-sanctuary-city-1.3990835

* An alternate name is being used for his security.