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Province will Help Bring up to 10,000 Refugees to Ontario by End of 2016

$10.5 million will Help More Refugees Settle in Ontario Communities and Support International Relief Efforts

VAUGHAN — York Region MPPs Steven Del Duca, Michael Chan, Reza Moridi, Dr. Helena Jaczek, and Chris Ballard are pleased to announce that Ontario is providing $8.5 million over two and a half years to support refugees, increase the number of refugees coming to Ontario communities, and help settle and integrate them once they arrive. Ontario is also supporting refugees’ immediate needs by committing $2 million for Syrian relief efforts through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN World Food Programme.

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced this support last Saturday at the COSTI Corvetti Education Centre. The province is providing support for private refugee sponsors in communities like York Region, such as individuals, faith-based groups and community organizations. The increased funding will help expedite the resettlement of refugees across Ontario and offer them a wide array of support once they arrive. This support will help resettle up to 10,000 refugees by the end of 2016. However, the actual number of refugees who arrive in the province is under the control of the federal government.

The new funding will be used to:

  • Support Ontario community groups in their efforts to mobilize Ontarians to sponsor and welcome refugees, in communities like York Region
  • Provide advice, training and assistance to sponsors to help them navigate the sponsorship application process
  • Develop an assurance fund to reduce barriers to sponsoring refugees
  • Provide comprehensive, community-based supports for refugees, such as trauma counselling, settlement assistance and targeted integration programs for children and youth
  • Promote employer engagement in hiring and training refugees
  • Help UN agencies feed, clothe and shelter refugees fleeing Syria and other war zones

The Premier also reiterated her call to the federal government to bring 5,000 refugees to Canada by the end of 2015, and reaffirmed Ontario’s commitment to resettle and integrate 2,500 of those refugees. 

QUOTES

“Ontarians are a welcoming and compassionate people, who strive to help those in need find a safe haven. That is why our government is stepping up its support to help more refugees build a new life in our province.”

— Steven Del Duca, M.P.P., Vaughan

“Canada has a proud history of accepting refugees and this country has benefitted by providing a new place to start over. Last week, the Premier announced $300,000 in government funding for Lifeline Syria – an organization trying to bring 1,000 Syrian refugees to Toronto. I am so proud to be part of a Government that continues to do more – Ontario will provide $10.5 million to help more refugees settle in Ontario. I know the residents of Newmarket-Aurora will be thrilled, and so am I.”

— Chris Ballard, M.P.P., Newmarket-Aurora

“Each year, Ontario accepts more new immigrants and refugees than any other province in Canada; as compassionate Ontarians, it is our duty to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis by providing strong humanitarian aid, as well as supporting the resettlement of Syrian refugees into our province as quickly as possible.”

 — Reza Moridi, M.P.P., Richmond Hill

“I am proud to be part of a government that recognizes the critical need to respond to this global crisis with compassion and with concrete action. This important announcement will help provide refuge for thousands of people and will support them as they settle into their new homes and begin to build new lives in Ontario.”

 — Dr. Helena Jaczek, M.P.P., Oak Ridges – Markham

"Ontarians are ready and willing to do all we can to help support refugees in dire need. Our government is providing the necessary supports so we can provide immediate and lasting help."
 — Michael Chan, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade

“The Syrian refugee crisis is the worst in decades, and every day, conflicts in other countries are forcing people to flee their homes. We can and must do far more to respond to those who need our help. This funding will help thousands of refugees find a warm welcome in Ontario — and give them the support they need to start building new lives here.”

— Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

QUICK FACTS

  • The $10.5 million in funding announced yesterday is in addition to the $330,000 provided to Lifeline Syria to help recruit and train private refugee sponsors in Ontario, and then match them with Syrian refugees approved for resettlement by the federal government.
  • Refugees typically face greater settlement and integration challenges than other newcomers.  that may include prolonged periods in refugee camps, trauma, violence and limited access to health care and education.
  • In 2014, Ontario welcomed more than 11,400 refugees from around the world to start a new life in the province.

LEARN MORE

Ontario’s Immigration Strategy, which includes actions on many fronts to improve services for vulnerable populations such as refugees

Ontario’s Newcomer Settlement Program 

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