Revealed: How 46-year-old woman slumped, died 3 days after arriving Canada

The family of a 46-year-old woman who died three days after landing in Canada from Kenya is coming to terms with her demise as detectives have launched an investigation into her death....READ FULL ARTICLE

Reports indicate that prior to her death, Delphine Ngigi spent hours in the cold while seeking shelter at Mississauga Refugee Camp.

Canadian-based media house, CBC News, reported that the widow arrived at the camp in Dundas Street on Saturday, February 17, seeking asylum but was turned back as the facility was full.

After waiting in the cold for several hours, she was eventually allowed into the building and given a place to sleep, saving her from the cold weather.

Ngigi reportedly collapsed the next day while showering at the shelter after her health deteriorated and was rushed to a nearby hospital.

She was pronounced dead a few minutes later with her cause of her death yet to be disclosed.

Lobby groups consisting of Africans have faulted the management of the facility for the manner in which the situation was handled, noting that denying the deceased access to shelter at a time when temperature was low was not right.

“We are standing in solidarity with the Kenyan community and our sister whom we failed to do our part as Canadians and allow such stories to continue,” a member of the GTA, Africa-Canada lobby group told the press.

Ngigi was a widow with four children who reside in Kenya.

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She jetted out in pursuit of better opportunities only to meet her death three days after arriving in Canada.

An autopsy to establish the cause of death is scheduled to be conducted before the body is released to her family for burial.

Rwandan Canadian Healing Centre founder, Kizito Musabimana demanded justice, noting that the current government had failed Ngigi by allowing her to fall through the cracks while pursuing the Canadian dream.

“The basic responsibility the current government has is to make sure that someone comes to Canada to pursue that Canadian dream are not left abandoned to fall in the cracks…People come looking for shelter and we leave them on the street, in this case for several hours,” Musabimana said.

“At a time when we must reflect on the work of black people throughout history. Instead, we continue to see tragedies occurring,” Musabimana added.

The lobby group promised to support the family in giving the deceased her final sendoff.

● Local councillor calls for more federal funding

Ngigi’s death is prompting a local councillor to call on the federal government to provide $7 million in promised funding for a welcome centre for refugees and asylum seekers near Toronto’s Pearson International Airport as well as additional funding to help Peel Region settle asylum seekers. Specifically, Peel Region wants $84 million to provide shelter to asylum seekers and another $9 million to cover the costs of settling Ukrainian refugees.

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Mississauga councillor Dipika Damerla, who represents Ward 7, said the shelter was not to blame for the death but the death was a sign that the temporary homeless shelter system in Peel Region was overburdened.

The federal government has promised funding for the welcome centre, but Mississauga councillor Dipika Damerla, who represents Ward 7, says the money for that hasn’t begun flowing.

Damerla said the shelter is not to blame for the death. Instead, the death is a sign that the temporary shelter system in Peel Region is overburdened, she said.

The region is providing shelter for about 1,200 asylum seekers.

“This just shines a spotlight on the enormous pressure our shelter systems are under,” Damerla said on Thursday, adding the woman received timely medical assistance at the shelter and hospital.

“We are sometimes turning away asylum seekers and I think that’s a disgrace. The situation has gotten worse,” she added. “And it doesn’t have to be this way. If the federal government would just come to the table and start funding us properly, we wouldn’t be in this situation.”

“In November, you know, I was losing my mind over the fact that we were at 300 per cent capacity,” he said. “We’re at 400 per cent capacity now. It’s getting worse, despite the promises of new funding.”

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“The shelter system is so much over capacity that we’re going to see more fatalities,” he said, calling this week’s death “heartbreaking” and “avoidable.”

● Region needs to do more, advocate says

But local advocates say the region needs to do more than lobby for more funding.

“We want answers and the answers cannot be, ‘Oh, we need to get the money from the federal government so we can do this work,’” Musabimana said.

“We need to spend and then go to the federal government to be reimbursed if that’s what needs to be done.”

A spokesperson for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada told CBC News the federal government has provided $10 million to Peel Region as an instalment toward its final 2023 Interim Housing Assistance Program claim.

“The federal government has also committed to supporting to open a new reception centre that will provide temporary shelter and more streamlined services and supports to asylum claimants. On January 31, 2024, Minister (Marc) Miller announced an additional $362.4 million in funding for the Interim Housing Assistance Program (IHAP).

This is in addition to the $212 million that was announced in the summer of 2023,” the statement said.

“We are deeply saddened to hear news about the death of an individual at a shelter in Mississauga. Our hearts go out to the family.” [With CBC report]…READ FULL ARTICLE

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