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La Passerelle-I.D.É. in solidarity with the African-Canadian community, refugee aid organizations and others

We are not asking for special treatment but fair treatment for African refugees who come to Canada!

Toronto, February 23, 2024 – La Passerelle-I.D.É., in solidarity with refugee serving organizations, faith groups, frontline service workers, health organizations, and other civil society groups, are once again grappling with grief and frustration as yet another tragic loss has occurred within our community.


We come together today, united in grief and resolve, to face the heartbreaking loss of yet another member of our African migrant community. This tragedy underscores the urgent need for comprehensive solutions and support for all migrants seeking safety and dignity in our country.


On Sunday, February 18, 2024, another precious life, that of an African migrant, a woman from Kenya, was lost at the Dundas Shelter in Mississauga. This devastating event comes exactly three months after the heartbreaking death of a Nigerian migrant who passed away while sleeping in a tent outside in the freezing cold on November 16th 2023.


  • The deceased, Ms. Delphina Ngigi was a refugee claimant and widow with 4 children, who are back home in Kenya


  • She came to Canada seeking refuge on Thursday, February 15th, 2024 and went to Dundas Shelter on Saturday, February 17th, 2024 at 1pm, she was not admitted into the Dundas shelter until 8pm on February 17th, 2024. She spent many hours in the cold at temperatures between minus 4 and minus 6 degrees.


  • Around 5pm on February 18th 2024, a member from the African community received a call from a social worker at the Mississauga Hospital - Trillium Health Partners, where she was declared deceased at 4:36PM. We await the autopsy, to learn the official cause of her death.


  • The family & the community are working on funeral arrangements to accord a dignified burial. Delphina will be buried in Kenya, close to her family.


La Passerelle-I.D.É. stands in solidarity with the family of the deceased, the African Canadian community, refugee service organizations, faith groups, frontline workers, health organizations and all civil society groups calling for immediate action to prevent further loss of life.


This tragic event is not an isolated incident, but a symptom of broader systemic challenges facing migrants, including access to adequate housing, healthcare and support services. It highlights critical gaps in our shelter system and the need for a coordinated response to protect the most vulnerable among us.

We demand transparency in the investigation of this and similar incidents. It is essential to understand the circumstances leading to such tragedies to prevent their recurrence. Accountability at all levels is crucial to restoring trust and ensuring the safety and well-being of migrants and refugees in our shelters.


We call on federal, provincial and municipal governments to work together with civil society organizations to implement policy reforms that guarantee safe, accessible and dignified conditions for all migrants. This includes immediate improvements to housing conditions, access to healthcare and the provision of comprehensive support services.


This moment asks us to come together, not just in mourning, but in action. We invite all stakeholders, including government agencies, community organizations and the public, to engage in open and constructive dialogue to find lasting solutions. Collaboration is the key to meeting the complex needs of migrants and ensuring that tragedies like this do not happen again.


We are determined to work tirelessly to defend the rights and well-being of migrants. We are committed to supporting initiatives to address the root causes of migration challenges, improve shelter conditions and provide a pathway to integration and support for all those seeking refuge in our communities.


"As we remember the individual we have lost, let us also remember the values that unite us as a community: compassion, humanity and an unshakeable belief in the dignity of every person. Together, we can and must build a system that reflects these values, guaranteeing safety and respect for all." According to Leonie Tchatat, Founder and Executive Director of La Passerelle-I.D.É.




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