Province Boosts Refugee Supports for 6 communities

Ontario is helping to boost capacity for settlement agencies in six communities where federally funded Resettlement Assistance Program agencies are located, and which are expected to receive the majority of refugees from the Syrian conflict – who began arriving yesterday.

Earlier this year, Ontario committed $8.5 million over two and a half years to help deliver both settlement and integration supports to refugees, as well as to help organizations and groups that are supporting private sponsors. Ontario is allocating over $3.7 million of this funding to eight settlement agencies in six communities. These funds will help provide comprehensive, community-based supports for refugees, such as:

  • First-language settlement services
  • Specialized supports for refugee women and youth
  • Access to trauma counselling and mental health services
  • Housing assistance
  • Employment supports.

The organizations receiving funding are: Arab Community Centre of Toronto (Toronto), Catholic Centre for Immigrants (Ottawa), COSTI Immigrant Services (Toronto), London Cross Cultural Learner Centre (London), Malton Neighbourhood Services (Mississauga), Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County (Windsor), Reception House Waterloo Region (Kitchener-Waterloo) and Wesley Urban Ministries (Hamilton).  “Ensuring new Ontarians have access to a full range of settlement and support services sets them and Ontario up for success,” Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and International Trade Michael Chan said.

Holding the welcome to Canada sign at Pearson Airport
Holding the welcome to Canada sign at Pearson Airport

More organizations will receive funding for refugee-targeted settlement services in the coming months to meet a range of needs and address service gaps in communities where refugees will settle.

The province is encouraging Ontarians to either post, or sign up to receive information on volunteer opportunities to help welcome refugees at SPARK Ontario, specifically on its webpage on Welcoming Syrian Refugees.

Trudeau Welcomes Refugees at Pearson

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was on-hand December 10 at Pearson Airport to welcome the first plane-load of refugees from Lebanon. “Today we welcome many Syrian refugees who were forced to flee their homeland because of war and conflict,” Trudeau stated.  The plane carried 163 refugees.  They stayed in Toronto overnight, and will be united with their sponsors this morning.  Most will re-settle in the Greater Toronto area (G.T.A.)