Following an invitation by the Bishops in the Middle East, a delegation organized by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace / Caritas Canada (CCODP) is visiting projects it supports in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. The visits are part of an observer mission, 29 January to 9 February 2017. The delegation includes: the Most Reverend Ken Nowakowski, Ukrainian Eparchial Bishop of New Westminster, B.C., and member of the Standing Committee for Development and Peace of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB); the Most Reverend Raymond Poisson, Bishop of Joliette and member of the CCCB Permanent Council and the CCCB Commission for Justice and Peace; Mrs. Hélène Tremblay-Boyko, Vice President of the National Council of Development and Peace; and Mr. Kyle Ferguson, the CCCB Advisor for Ecclesial and Interfaith Relations. The group is accompanied by Mr. Gilio Brunelli, Director of International Programs with Development and Peace.
The observer mission includes visits with the Patriarchs and Bishops of the Middle East, as well as with Caritas organizations in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, along with other CCODP partners in the region, and Government of Canada representatives.