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

PET CARE: Canada Day tips for our pet’s anxiety

Columnist Nicolette Joosting examines different ways to help your pets relax through the celebration

Fraser Valley author launches second crime novel

Seamus Heffernan releases book Ten Grand on June 27 in Abbotsford

Agassiz author pens a kingly book

Long-time writer and producer Alexander Hamilton-Brown just finished his first novel

Chilliwack car show cancelled due to weather forecast

Popular Village Classic car show will not be rescheduled, say organizers

Missing Chilliwack woman may be in Surrey area

Jennifer Lynn Aleck, 44, last in contact with a friend on June 2

VIDEO: Reading splashes into Agassiz’s Ferny Coombe Pool

The Agassiz Library held its annual Reading in the Pool event Friday, June 14

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

Most Read