Anne Kang, Minister of Municipal Affairs, has released the following statement to mark World Refugee Day on Tuesday, June 20, 2023:
“World Refugee Day is a day to reflect on the incredible strength and resilience shown by people who have been forced from their home countries to escape conflict and persecution.
“British Columbia has long been a place where people can find safety and security, and this is in part due to the welcoming nature of the people who live here. It is our shared responsibility to protect the rights and freedoms of all who come to our province.
“When the federal government pledged to settle 40,000 Afghan refugees in 2020, British Columbia became the home to almost 4,000 people who sought refuge.
“And when the war on Ukraine began, British Columbians showed their support once again. As a result of their goodwill and the efforts of dedicated service providers, we have been able to support 15,000 Ukrainian arrivals.
“To ensure newcomers to B.C. have the resources they need, our government has increased financial supports from $6 million to almost $26 million annually to settlement organizations as they work tirelessly to ensure refugees can find safety, dignity and support in B.C.
“Through our BC Settlement and Integration Services program, we’re empowering refugees, temporary residents and naturalized citizens to successfully integrate into life in British Columbia, find meaningful employment, and access education and health care.
“Today, I’m asking all British Columbians to join me in recognizing the incredible strength and resilience of refugees, and their positive contributions to the social fabric of our province.”