B.C. ‘ready’ for 3,500 Syria refugees

Timing of bringing in those fleeing conflict in Syria and Iraq is up to Trudeau government, Premier Christy Clark says

Premier Christy Clark

B.C. has been asked to take in 3,500 refugees from civil war and terrorist attacks in Syria and Iraq and is ready to do so, Premier Christy Clark says.

“The federal government has asked us to welcome 3,500 refugees as part of this, and we’ve said yes, we think we can do that,” Clark said Wednesday. “We’ve set a million dollars aside and the federal government has also said they’re going to restore the resettlement funding that was cut not that long ago.

“We are going to fund their children when they go to school, of course, and support them in finding the counselling services, the housing and general settlement services that they need.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stuck to his election commitment to bring 25,000 refugees into Canada by the end of December. But as logistical issues and security concerns have arisen, the deadline may be altered.

In his mandate letter to Immigration Minister John McCallum, Trudeau said a top priority is to “lead government-wide efforts to resettle 25,000 refugees from Syria in the coming months.”

Clark said the number, timing and security screening of refugee claimants is up to Ottawa.

“I accept their assurances that they can do a very rigorous screening process for everyone that we’re welcoming into the country in the time that they’ve set out for it,” Clark said.

“Our job in British Columbia is to welcome them, and to make sure that we as communities and a province do everything that we can to make sure that they get the best possible start, so those refugees can start contributing to our society and be a part of our society, because that’s what they want. And that’s what we need.”

Just Posted

Growing protests over U.S. school shootings felt in Victoria

Greater Victoria School District officials confident about student safety in local schools

Latitude 48 Paddling Club races through Victoria waters

Local team clinched victory in Nanaimo to kick off season that will see them compete in Hawaii

Brentwood Bay hosts 24-hour cancer fundraiser

Monster and Sea 24-hour Paddle is grassroots fundraiser

Greater Victoria police busy with St. Patrick’s Day calls

Victoria police respond to 82 calls for service

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

Victoria seniors leading the fitness charge

Go at your own pace, advises 87-year-old gym buff

Most people in B.C. too ‘lazy,’ ‘apathetic’ to prepare for disasters: poll

Less than half of those surveyed aren’t insured for earthquakes and wildfires

Chris Hemsworth goes surfing in Tofino

The Australian actor donned a full body wetsuit to catch some waves on Vancouver Island this weekend

B.C. hospitals receive boost for dental surgery

Disabled people needing general anesthetic wait too long, Adrian Dix says

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild on the ropes and Smoke Eaters reeling

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

A frustrated Trump lashes out at special counsel Mueller

In a series of weekend tweets naming Mueller for the first time, Trump criticized the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election

B.C. teachers’ union to ask for higher salaries to help with shortages

B.C. starting teacher salaries are $10,000 to $15,000 lower than Ontario or Alberta says B.C. Teachers’ Federation president.

Most Read