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SRCalgary

Syrian Refugees and News updates

Calgary's refugee success could mean more Syrians coming to the city: Minister of Immigration

Calgary's refugee success could mean more Syrians coming to the city: Minister of Immigration

Thursday a $600,000 contribution from the Welcome Fund For Syrian Refugees was given to the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society

metro112

metroccis112

By:  Metro Published on Thu Feb 11 2016

Bring on the refugees, Calgary's ready.

In a crowded room filled with business executives, politicians and refugees who now call Calgary home, Fariborz Birjandian, the CEO of the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society put out a challenge for the Canadian government – which The Honourable John McCallum, federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship heard loud and clear.

On Thursday, the Community Foundations of Canada announced a $600,000 contribution from the Welcome Fund For Syrian Refugees given to the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society. The money, contributed by private sector businesses like CN, Manulife and GM, will be used to help settle refugees into permanent housing.

"I think the capacity for the numbers, we're anticipating another 200 people arriving by the end of February, we're prepared for that," Birjandian said. "Additionally with this injection of cash we're in a much better position to secure housing…if the provincial government, in discussion with the feds, decides to send more people in Calgary, I think we're ready."

Compared to other cities welcoming refugees, so far Calgary has fared well, and we're able to house new families on average within 15 days. But Mayor Naheed Nenshi said there's still a challenge ahead with large families, and multigenerational families.

"We're doing great, the capacity is there," said Nenshi. "We have seen more very large families than we were expecting, families with many many children, and the housing for those families, and multigenerational families, has been more challenging than we expected. Supply of four bedroom homes or larger has been hard. So in that area, this announcement today is going to help us a lot.

According to Birjandian, the new funds will help give $500 subsidies to families – about 550 people – which would facilitate faster moves into permanent housing. He added the money would also help diversify the areas within Calgary where refugees are settled.

metroccis1123

"This injection of cash actually allows us to put people across Calgary," Birjandian said. "That's been one of our goals."

Minister McCallum said Canada expects to welcome the full 25,000 refugees promised by the end of February, but that he wouldn't be surprised if Calgary, a success story for refugee settlement, is asked to take on more.

Source: http://www.metronews.ca/news/calgary/2016/02/11/calgary-syrian-refugee-funding-announcement-private-sector.html

 

 

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