Ontario Newsroom

Province Continuing to Support Lifeline Syria

News Release

Province Continuing to Support Lifeline Syria

Organization Working to Resettle and Integrate Syrian Refugees in Ontario

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Ontario is continuing to support Lifeline Syria's efforts to resettle and integrate 1,000 Syrian refugees in the Greater Toronto Area over the next two years. 

Lifeline Syria is a community-based initiative that is helping to recruit, train and match private refugee sponsors in Ontario with Syrian refugees approved for resettlement by the federal government.  Sponsors include organizations, individuals, or groups of individuals such as faith-based groups. 

In April 2015, Ontario provided $30,000 in seed funding to Lifeline Syria to help kick start their operation. Over the past six months, Ontario has been working closely with Lifeline Syria's steering committee to further develop its initiative. The province is now providing Lifeline Syria with an additional $300,000 so that it can continue its important work.

The funding will be used to:

  • Implement an outreach campaign to promote private sponsorship
  • Recruit, train and support private sponsors
  • Develop and coordinate targeted services for refugees, and help to build capacity within the community to meet their complex needs
  • Cover the cost of necessary staff positions, including case workers and a project manager.

Ontario's Immigration Strategy recognizes that immigration is fundamental to Ontario's social and economic well-being, and includes action on many fronts to improve services for vulnerable immigrant populations such as refugees.

Quick Facts

  • In 2014, Ontario welcomed over 11,400 refugees to start a new life in our province.
  • Refugees typically experience greater settlement and integration challenges as a result of their pre-migration experiences, which may include prolonged periods in refugee camps, trauma, violence and limited access to health care and education.
  • Since 2013, Ontario has invested over $26.3 million in its Newcomer Settlement Program.
  • Refugee determination is a federal responsibility.

Additional Resources


Michael Chan

“Ontario has a proud history of welcoming and supporting those displaced by conflict and tragedy. The province is pleased to be supporting Lifeline Syria’s efforts to help refugees who have suffered unimaginable hardship and loss to resettle and integrate in Ontario.”

Michael Chan

Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade

“The conflict in Syria has torn apart families and left thousands homeless and abandoned. We thank the Ontario government for continuing to support us in helping those displaced to build peaceful new lives in our communities.”

Ratna Omidvar

Steering Committee Chair, Lifeline Syria; Executive Director, Global Diversity Exchange; and Adjunct Professor, Ryerson University

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