B.C. ‘ready’ for 3,500 Syria refugees

Timing of bringing in those fleeing conflict in Syria and Iraq is up to Trudeau government, Premier Christy Clark says

Premier Christy Clark

B.C. has been asked to take in 3,500 refugees from civil war and terrorist attacks in Syria and Iraq and is ready to do so, Premier Christy Clark says.

“The federal government has asked us to welcome 3,500 refugees as part of this, and we’ve said yes, we think we can do that,” Clark said Wednesday. “We’ve set a million dollars aside and the federal government has also said they’re going to restore the resettlement funding that was cut not that long ago.

“We are going to fund their children when they go to school, of course, and support them in finding the counselling services, the housing and general settlement services that they need.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stuck to his election commitment to bring 25,000 refugees into Canada by the end of December. But as logistical issues and security concerns have arisen, the deadline may be altered.

In his mandate letter to Immigration Minister John McCallum, Trudeau said a top priority is to “lead government-wide efforts to resettle 25,000 refugees from Syria in the coming months.”

Clark said the number, timing and security screening of refugee claimants is up to Ottawa.

“I accept their assurances that they can do a very rigorous screening process for everyone that we’re welcoming into the country in the time that they’ve set out for it,” Clark said.

“Our job in British Columbia is to welcome them, and to make sure that we as communities and a province do everything that we can to make sure that they get the best possible start, so those refugees can start contributing to our society and be a part of our society, because that’s what they want. And that’s what we need.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Comox airport’s Make-A-Wish send-off fit for a galaxy not so far away

Mattias Beck, 15, received an extra special start for Make-A-Wish trip

PHOTOS: Iconic aircraft at 19 Wing Comox entrance undergoes facelift

PHOTOS: Iconic aircraft at 19 Wing Comox entrance undergoes facelift

North Island Fiddlers hosting Spring Fling in Royston

Groundhog Day is long past, and Valentine’s Day has come and gone,… Continue reading

Comox Valley Citizens on Patrol celebrates 25 years of service

Comox Valley Citizens on Patrol Society (COPS) just celebrated its 25th year… Continue reading

Local cat rescue organization hit by camera theft

“Someone is taking from an organization trying to help cats who are surviving in the wild.”

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Comox Valley Beefs & Bouquets for week of Feb. 18

More beefs to the tip-expecting server; a bouquet to BC Transit

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

Development proposal in Courtenay stalled at third reading

A development proposal adjacent to the Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community… Continue reading

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

One dead in multi-vehicle collision involving logging truck on northern B.C. highway

DriveBC says highway expected to remain closed until 8 p.m.

B.C. teacher gets 15-year ban after lying about having sex with just-graduated student

Teacher had been dishonest with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation

Pipeline talks got B.C. railway open, can work again: Horgan

Premier says protest excesses damage Wet’suwet’en case

Most Read