Published on: February 11, 2016 | Last Updated: February 11, 2016 1:04 PM MST
Immigration Minister John McCallum says Calgary could be asked to take in more Syrian refugees given the city’s relative success in resettling people fleeing the war-torn region.
McCallum was in the city Thursday for the announcement of $600,000 in funding to the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society from the private sector-sponsored Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees.
About 900 Syrian refugees have come to Calgary so far, with just over 100 remaining in hotels or the Margaret Chisholm Resettlement Centre.
Calgary is expected to take about 1,200-1,300 refugees out of the approximately 3,000 the Alberta government has said it will accept. The federal Liberal government has promised to bring in 25,000 in total, though it missed its initial year-end deadline.
Fairborz Birjandian, CEO of the Catholic Immigration Society, said that if the federal and provincial government decide to send more refugees to Calgary they can be accommodated.
McCallum said the city had done a “fantastic job” in accepting refugees.
“I know that Calgary is doing extremely well,” said McCallum, the minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
“Our objective is to settle all of the 25,000 as positively and comfortably and effectively as we can and from what I’ve just heard, I think Calgary could take a few more.”
The money announced Tuesday from the Welcome Fund, which is backstopped by Manulife, CN and GM, will be used for housing by helping to subsidize rent for accommodations.