Communities prepare to welcome Syrian refugees

By on September 8, 2016


FILE photo: Ministers John McCallum and Maryam Monsef welcome a Syrian family to Canada. (Photo: Government of Canada website)
FILE photo: Ministers John McCallum and Maryam Monsef welcome a Syrian family to Canada. (Photo: Government of Canada website)

Ottawa, ON – Communities across Canada are gearing up to welcome Syrian refugees this fall as the pace of arrivals in Canada will be increasing in the coming weeks. Work to process Syrian refugee cases has continued over the summer and thanks to this effort and the delivery of pre-arrival orientation information sessions, more Syrian refugees are now ready to arrive in Canada.

Since the start of the Syrian resettlement initiative, many communities outside the traditional network of cities and towns that welcome government-assisted refugees have expressed an interest in helping refugees resettle and integrate.

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent in Ontario applied to become a “Welcoming Community” through the Community Partnership Settlement Plan process and was recently accepted.

Chatham-Kent will work with the local Resettlement Assistance Program service provider organizations in Windsor and London to help refugees resettling in their municipality. This provides access to community services and supports to help these newcomers adjust to life in Canada.

Communities can expect an increase in arrivals to begin in mid-September. Approximately 6,000 more government-supported Syrian refugees (which includes both government-assisted and blended visa office-referred refugees) will arrive by the end of December 2016 along with privately sponsored refugees whose cases have been finalized.

“Bringing refugees to Canada is only the first step. Helping them settle and integrate will require the support and participation of Canadians and communities across Canada. I am delighted that Chatham-Kent has come forward to support Syrian refugees who are arriving in their region,” said the Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.