B.C. Preps for Syrian Refugees
Vancouver, B.C.- Although B.C. already settles about 1500 refugees a year, Premier Christy Clark says the Province will still need to prepare for the Syrian refugees who will be heading to Canada. “We’re going to need to make sure that the counselling and support is there for those who need it.”
“The quantum will be bigger, if it’s 35 hundred people over the next few months , we’re going to need to make sure those trained professionals are distributed in the right location and that takes a lot of work.” Premier Clark says the numbers haven’t been confirmed yet “3500 is the notional number we’ve been working with, we’ll if that’s where we land.”
We will work with the Federal Government on al l the details” says Clark ” We hope they will make sure they have the funds in place to ensure every refugee who settles has the strongest possible chance of success in our province.”
She says the focus shouldn’t be just to settle in Vancouver which has the highest housing costs in B.C. “But all across the province, where they will be welcomed in communities and have the chance to find skilled, meaningful work and become part of our economy as soon as they can.”
The Province has set aside a million dollars to assist refugees, but Clark reiterates that refugee settlement is a federal responsibility “none the less, we are kicking in money to make sure that it works. The Federal Government has that responsibility says Clark “Our hope is they (federal Government) intend to step up to ensure these refugees are as successful as possible when they land.”
Premier Clark says the Province will offer support “We will be funding those children at school, naturally. We will be supporting them as they transition into the workforce with child care support and MSP support, but our hope is, as it is for all British Columbians, that they will be able to move into the workforce, find jobs as soon as possible and live the kind of fulfilling lives with dignity that getting a job gives you.”
The federal government announced yesterday it was revising it’s timeline for the acceptance of Syrian refugees, with 10 thousand expected to arrive by the end of this year, and another 15 thousand by the end of February. Initially the Government had pledged to have 25 thousand refugees in Canada by the end of this year.
Just last evening, School District 57 noted that the Syrian refugee issue is “on the radar” as any potential students will have been missed by the enrolment funding deadline .