Syrian refugees arrive aboard a dinghy after crossing from Turkey

B.C. offers hotline, $1M fund to help Syrian refugees

Premier Christy Clark calls on B.C. residents to sponsor a refugee, pledges to work with volunteers

The B.C. government has added $1 million to its budget for helping refugees settle in the province, and has opened a toll-free information line for those who want to sponsor people fleeing violence in Syria.

Premier Christy Clark announced the funding in Vancouver Tuesday, along with a toll-free information number for community groups and private sponsors at 1-877-952-6914.

Clark said the province currently spends about $4 million a year to support the federal program that settles immigrants in B.C. The extra funds will be reserved for assistance to Syrian refugees, she said.

“It is our belief that it’s just not good enough to totally open our doors,” Clark said. “We have to make sure that when refugees get here, we’re doing everything that we can to help them realize the Canadian dream and find their way as seamlessly as possible in to British Columbia.”

The one-time investment will be used for trauma counselling, help for for groups of citizens to navigate the refugee sponsorship process, foreign credential recognition and community and employer supports including matching training funds for those committed to hiring a Syrian refugee.

Clark said all the federal parties have indicated they want to increase refugee intake in response to the Syrian civil war, and B.C. has supported that position for several years. Last year about 36,000 immigrants arrived in B.C., and about 1,500 were refugees.

Our job isn’t to decide who’s coming in when,” Clark said. “That’s their job. Our job is to make sure we’re ready.”

 

Just Posted

Castlegar Remembers

Hundreds gathered at Kinsmen Park on Sunday to mark the Centenary of the end of WW1

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Nine-vehicle pileup closes Highway 3 near Castlegar

Two separate incidents on slushy highway; reports of injuries

UPDATE: Police seek witnesses in Castlegar road rampage

Lake Country man faces 13 charges, including robbery, dangerous driving, flight from police, assault with a weapon, theft, and drug charges.

U.S.-based tech company planning Rossland location

GoToTags will use city as base to service Canadian customers

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Surging Rangers beat visiting Canucks 2-1

Goalie Lundqvist ties Plante on all-time wins list

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

Residents to choose in a non-binding vote on Tuesday whether they want city to bid on 2026 Olympics

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Most Read