Plans being set up for Syrian refuges to settle in diverse communities in Canada

by Ray Clancy on February 12, 2016

Communities throughout Canada have responded to the Government’s pledge to welcome 25,000 people from war tone Syria by offering to help them start a new life.

While cities have always been a draw for refugees under the Government Assisted Refugees (GAR) programme many municipalities have expressed an interest in integrating them into their communities.

Communities outside the traditional network of cities and towns that welcome GARs are being invited to develop a Community Partnership Settlement Plan, which prepares them to welcome Government-Assisted Refugees.


Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), in cooperation with provinces and territories, has established criteria for communities wishing to become welcoming communities for GARs and the application process will open soon.

Municipalities that wish to welcome and integrate Government-Assisted Refugees must develop a plan that demonstrates that they have the necessary services in their communities to help refugees settle, integrate, and ultimately thrive in their new home towns.

Municipalities will work with employment, housing, educational and other partners within their community to create a plan which will then be validated by the respective provincial or territorial government, and submitted to IRCC.

“I am proud of the outpouring of support I have seen from communities across this country. I am pleased that we will be able to welcome Government Assisted Refugees to even more communities,” said John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

He explained that communities that wish to welcome Government-Assisted Refugees must have, among other things, a broad set of settlement services, available permanent housing and employment, and established partnerships with stakeholders.

Official figures show that since November 2015 some 16,215 Syrian refugees have arrived in Canada, of which 9,491 are Government-Assisted Refugees.

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