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October 28, 2017 1:17 am

Provincial Government Readies for Syrian Refugees

Thursday, December 3, 2015 @ 3:55 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government has announced its next steps in preparing for the arrival of Syrian refugees in this province.

Of the $1 million Victoria has pledged for its Refugee Readiness fund, it will spend $500,000 on five Refugee Response Teams.

“The teams will have representatives from the refugee service provider community: settlement organizations, private sponsors, churches, educators, health care providers and employers,” reads a news release.

“Teams are anticipated in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, Okanagan and Cariboo (including Prince George), however locations are contingent on where refugees ultimately settle.”

The remaining money will go to the Immigrant Services Society of B.C. to do the following:

* Develop an online hub to connect private sponsors, settlement workers,counselors, and other service providers throughout the province to the information they need to support refugees.
* Track volunteer offers, in-kind donations and housing and employment leads.
* Set up a range of supports for clinicians caring for traumatized refugees, including a new telephone consultation line and a trauma needs assessment tool.
* Provide workshops and support to the Refugee Response Teams.

The government has also identified further initiatives to support successful settlement of refugees.

Through the Canada-BC Job Grant, up to $1.5 million will support skills training to assist refugees and new Canadians to gain employment, in
partnership with sector/industry associations and employers.

The Province will also invest $2.6 million in project based language training throughout B.C. that will support refugees and other immigrants.

The Provincial Health Services Authority is also hiring and training 30 additional interpreters dedicated to languages spoken by
refugee populations.

According to the federal government, 10,000 Syrian refugees will arrive in Canada by the end of this year, 15,000 more will be here by the end of February.


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