Magazine article Anglican Journal

Woman Who Took Sanctuary in Halifax Church Will Leave Canada

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Woman Who Took Sanctuary in Halifax Church Will Leave Canada

Article excerpt

Sanja Pecelj, the Kosovo woman who sought sanctuary in the basement of St. Mark's church in Halifax, has agreed to accept Ottawa's recommendation to leave Canada and to reapply as a permanent resident under a program that allows provinces to sponsor employable immigrants.

Supporters of Ms. Pecelj expressed frustration that Prime Minister Paul Martin's promise to review her application for refugee status never materialized.

"We're not really happy that a file review did not take place," said Sue Moxley, suffragan bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. "Leaving the country was always rue second option. She's still being deported and she doesn't want to leave."

Ms. Pecelj has applied to Austria, Mexico, France, the United States and Italy for visas and hopes that she will be able to stay in one of those countries as she awaits Ottawa's approval of her application. (The province of Nova Scotia has already nominated her to work as a translator for a local company. Ms. Pecelj came to Canada from Kosovo in 2000, when she worked as a United Nations translator at the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre in Cornwallis, N.S. She applied for refugee status saying she feared being killed if she went back to Kosovo since she had worked for the UN. …

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