A Catholic charity has been accused of hiding a refugee resettlement centre in Victoria as part of its plan to use the facility for its own ends.
John Crawford is a refugee from Sri Lanka, who was brought to Canada as a child and was denied asylum.
The centre, run by Catholic charity Charity Bailey, was supposed to be a home for refugees from around the world.
But in 2017, the charity moved the centre to Burnaby, British Columbia, after a court ordered it closed.
The federal government has since asked the court to force the closure of the centre, but the court has ruled against that request.
“Cathy Bailey, through its legal team, has chosen to use a facility which is not a refugee shelter to hide its illegal immigration and resettlement activities,” the charity wrote in a statement on Friday.
“It is now seeking to use this position to obstruct the federal government’s ability to protect the safety and security of Canadians in Canada.”
Cathy’s lawyers argue the move is in violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“As the claimant, John Crawfords right to residence is protected by the Charter and that right is not infringed,” they said.
The charity, which has a long history of pushing for immigration reform, has also been accused in the past of helping the illegal immigration of Indigenous people.
In 2016, it launched an ad campaign in which it claimed it would donate $1,000 to a new Indigenous-owned grocery store.
But it was later revealed that the group was in fact working to get more Aboriginal people into the Canadian market.