Tag Archives: refugees

Syrian Refugee UPDATE from Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

November 27, 2015

Dear Heads of Council

I’m aware that many municipal leaders have questions about their possible involvement in helping to resettle Syrian refugees.

While many details remain to be worked out by the federal government, the overall plan is taking shape nicely. Let me share with you a few of the things we know so far.

  • We expect that the first wave of refugees coming to Canada will number about 10,000 by year end.
  • Of these the majority will be privately sponsored. These refugees will be settled and cared for by their sponsors.
  • A much smaller number will be government assisted. These refugees will be assisted by federally-funded Refugee Assistance Program agencies located in six urban centres: Toronto (serving the Greater Toronto Area including Peel, York and Durham Regions), Ottawa, London, Windsor, Hamilton and Kitchener- Waterloo. These communities account for about 90% of immigrant and refugee landings to Ontario.
  • We expect the government assisted refugees will be located primarily in those urban centres, to make it as easy as possible to provide them with services.
  • An additional 15,000 refugees are expected to come to Canada by the end of February 2016.
  • Ontario played a leadership role early on, with an additional $8.5-million in funding to help sponsors and settlement organizations. We continue to play a leadership role in helping to coordinate these efforts. Federal, provincial and municipal representatives are hard at work on pinning down more details and engaging directly with the municipalities likely to be most affected.

I’ve spoken with a number of mayors in the last few days and been overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity. Everyone is eager to help. This is a proud moment for our province and our country.

  • The federal government has established a website, Welcome Refugees [http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/welcome/index.asp] for up-to-date information. Ontario has also established a Syrian Refugee page [www.ontario.ca/syrianrefugees] with information on how people can help.
  • Our province has also established a central co-ordinating function here led by Joan Andrew, a very able former deputy minister of Citizenship and Immigration. You can reach her at 416-325 4764 or joan.andrew@ontario.ca.

    I’m very proud of the way our province is stepping up to show hospitality, and I’m grateful to all of you for your many efforts. As plans continue to evolve, I’ll do my best to keep you informed. And I or Joan will be happy to receive your suggestions and offers of resources as we go forward.

    Kindest personal regards,

    Ted McMeekin Minister

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Federal government releases its plan for the refugees

I have attached the announcement sent to me from AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) for your information

 

November 25, 2015

Federal Government Announces Plan to Resettle Syrian Refugees

Yesterday, the federal government released its plan to resettle 25,000 refugees from the Syrian conflict. The government will identify all 25,000 refugees who will come to Canada by December 31, 2015. The target is to have 10,000 refugees arrive by the end of 2015 with the remainder arriving by the end of February 2016. The government will invest up to $678 million over six years towards resettlement and integration support. The goal is to have relatively even distribution of refugees across Canada. While the destination communities are not yet confirmed, the Province is asking the public to identify available housing in Hamilton, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, and Windsor.

For its part, the provincial government has established a Ministers’ Ad Hoc Committee on Refugees in order to coordinate support for the federal government’s plans for resettlement. The committee is co-chaired by the Honourable Michael Chan, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade, and the Honourable Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. The Province has indicated that it will provide $10.5 million over two years to promote refugee sponsorship and deliver immediate and future support for refugees.

AMO is supportive of the resettlement efforts and stands ready to assist with communicating the federal and provincial plans to our membership. Many municipal councils across the province are already in various states of planning for the reception of refugees. Municipal governments and District Social Service Administration Boards (DSSABs) can play a role to ensure that their services are accessible to refugees (i.e. childcare, housing, public health). Coordination and planning will be required with the other two orders of government in order to make this a successful resettlement effort. An assessment will also be needed to gauge the potential fiscal impact to municipal governments and DSSABs and the ensuing discussion with the provincial government on the assistance needed to meet these costs. More information is expected from the federal and provincial governments on the municipal role in the days ahead.

AMO will continue to play a leadership role as our members stand ready to assist refugees in any way they can. AMO will be working closely with municipal staff associations, including the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA) and the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA), on planning for the successful settlement of refugees.

AMO will monitor developments and provide further information to members when it becomes available.

Links: 

CIC Newsroom:
Canada Offers Leadership on the Syrian Refugee Crisis
#WelcomeRefugees to Canada

Ontario Newsroom:
Ontario Preparing to Welcome Syrian Refugees
Ontario Forms Ministers’ Ad Hoc Committee on Refugees
Syrian Refugees: How You Can Help

‘DOUBLE DOUBLE” FUND RAISER FOR REFUGEES – WESTPORT RISES TO THE NEED

Generous, caring, committed, AMAZING.  Those are the words to describe the large crowd of Westport and North Crosby residents who came to the Cove Country Inn for the community rally to raise money for the Canadian Red Cross and its humanitarian support the Refugees from Syria and area.  The donations from tonight are still being totalled, however it sounds like over $25,000 in donations were raised tonight.  You read that correctly – over $25,000!!!!  Added to the $16,500 matching funds gives a total over $41,000.  After the Canadian government matches, we will be sending around $82,000 to help the refugees.

Generous, caring, committed, AMAZING and, did I say generous -those are the words to describe my friends, neighbours, kindred souls.  Seriously – when we work together – we can accomplish significant goals.  Give yourself a pat on the back!  Thank you everyone.