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

Nature Wise: How are Canada’s birds doing and do we even care?

Columnist Bob Handfield, president of the South Okanagan Naturalists’ Club

Super League Triathlon in Penticton cancelled

It was confirmed Monday next month’s planned Super League Triathlon has been cancelled

Mix of sun and cloud for the Okanagan-Shuswap-Similkameen region

Environment Canada is forecasting a chance of showers with a risk of thunderstorms for the region

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Gusty winds and scattered clouds.

Temperatures are expected to reach the high 20s under cloudy skies.

South Okanagan real estate market continues to stabilize, millennials eager to become homeowners

SOREB President Dori Lionello said millenials are carefully watching the market

VIDEO: Okanagan Valley weekday weather update

Environment Canada says it’s going to be a rainy week

Too much time on social media can hurt teens’ mental health: study

Researchers conducted a four-year survey of more than 3,800 adolescents between Grades 7 and 11

Advocates want charges in horse deaths during Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races

Chuckwagon races are a nightly spectacle during the Stampede, a 10-day annual celebration of western life

ICBC insurance renewals get more complicated this year

Crash history, driver risk prompt more reporting requirements

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Okanagan man rides bike 654km to Alberta for mental health, pipeline awareness

Cycle 2 Change 2019 was made to open up conversation about mental health and Trans-Mountain Pipeline

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Dump truck lifts power lines causing fire near South Okanagan school

Emergency responders dealt with two incidents at the same time near KVR Middle School

Car thief to be sentenced in Kelowna B.C. Supreme Court

Stanley Nickason is set to plead guilty on multiple charges

Most Read