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 and Support International Relief Efforts
Ontario is providing $8.5 million over two and a half years to support refugees, increase the number of refugees coming to Ontario, 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 today at COSTI Corvetti Education Centre. The province is providing support for private refugee sponsors, 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. Today's 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
- 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.
- The $10.5 million in funding announced today 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. Many refugees have experienced 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 new lives in the province.
“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.”
“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.”