Thank you, Chair.
Deputy, before I pose my questions, I'll give full disclosure. My wife and I are private sponsors of three Syrian refugees. My questions are informed by fairly close experience with a number of sponsorship agreement holders.
One of the minister's first public appearances was a speech in Europe in which, among other things, he praised the private sponsorship programs for resettling refugees in situations across the country—as we have over the decades going back to the Vietnamese boat people—and fulfilling the reality that in 2018, Canada surpassed the United States in terms of becoming a world leader in refugee settlement.
I know that you are aware that a number of sponsorship agreement holders, SAHs were greatly disturbed and concerned a year ago when you changed the obligations of sponsors, which at least one of the SAHs characterizes as going from humanitarian support and resettlement of refugees to a spreadsheet obligation. I know that this spreadsheet obligation was explained to the SAHs in terms of trying to establish equivalency in the way your department processes government-sponsored refugees and allocates the costs assigned to them. I just want you to know, and I hope that you've informed the minister, that this new program has imposed spreadsheet obligations when many very compassionate private-sponsor groups simply don't have the capacity to abide by your new rules. I know that the department on its website talks about sponsorship agreement holders as religious, ethnic community or humanitarian organizations. Many are considering dropping future private sponsorships because they simply cannot cope.
I wonder if you can respond to that continuing concern and criticism, and whether the minister has been advised to reconsider and get back to some of the in-kind support that very often makes a difference. Going back to the Vietnamese boat people example, people were taken into homes and provided not necessarily with the cash—they were committed to giving an equivalent, but they also were not required to actually meet those cash obligations or the accounting procedures to confirm that support.