Along with the United Nations, the UNHCR, the Government of Canada and civic groups in more than 100 countries, the Province has proclaimed June 20, 2016, as World Refugee Day in British Columbia.
This year’s World Refugee Day will be especially poignant for Canadians and British Columbians because of the large number of displaced Syrians coming to Canada. Since November 2015, British Columbians have welcomed 2,300 refugees to over 45 communities throughout the province.
British Columbia was the first province in Canada to recognize the scale of the Syrian refugee crisis and in response created the $1-million Refugee Readiness Fund. That investment has funded a number of projects to help refugees settle and integrate into B.C.’s communities. The Province has invested in five regional Refugee Response Teams to help with housing and employment leads as well as creating supports for clinicians caring for traumatized refugees.
Since its inception in 2001, World Refugee Day has been annually commemorated on June 20 to recognize the contributions of forcibly displaced people throughout the world.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –
“The kindness and generosity British Columbians have shown toward Syrian refugees reflects the open and welcoming character of our province. I want to thank each and every volunteer, staff person or sponsor who has helped welcome B.C.’s new arrivals. We want to proclaim World Refugee Day here in B.C. to recognize that our province continues to be a great place to build a life for new Canadians.”
- On average, every year British Columbia. welcomes 37,000 permanent residents, including 1,600 refugees.
- In addition to the $1 million Refugee Readiness Fund, the Province funds a number of programs for all newcomers, including:
- $1.5 million through the Canada-B.C. job grant to help get refugees job training and match them with employers;
- $4 million for services for newcomers not eligible for federal services, such as:
- orientation and community connections;
- formal and informal language training and practise; and
- trauma counselling for refugee claimants.
- Every refugee student who enrolls in a British Columbia public school will be funded from the Province’s pupil funding formula.
- Like all British Columbians, refugees have access to medical, employment and other government services.
The new, enhanced WelcomeBC.ca is streamlined, easier to use and available through mobile devices and social media: www.welcomebc.ca
For more information about federal supports for government-assisted refugees, go to: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/ip/ip03-part2-eng.pdf
For more information on the B.C.-Canada Job Grant and how to apply, please visit: www.workbc.ca