Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Asks Ottawa to Bring 5,000 Syrian Refugees to Canada by Year End

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Asks Ottawa to Bring 5,000 Syrian Refugees to Canada by Year End

Article excerpt

Ontario asks feds to bring 5,000 Syrians to Canada

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TORONTO - The Ontario government says Ottawa should pledge to bring 5,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of the year.

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Eric Hoskins said Friday that the federal government should not wait for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or host governments to certify refugee status, a process he said could take months, and even years.

"We can and we need to mobilize the human and financial resources now and bring thousands to Canada immediately and complete their processes here," said Hoskins as he announced a $300,000 government funding for Lifeline Syria -- an organization that is trying to bring 1,000 Syrian refugees to Toronto.

The funding will be used to implement an outreach campaign to promote private sponsorships, recruit, train and support private sponsors as well as cover the cost of hiring more case workers to help refugees once they resettle in Canada.

Hoskins said previous Canadian governments have responded promptly to international humanitarian crisis, including the Kosovo War in 1999, when 5,000 Kosovo Albanians were resettled in Canada in less than a month.

"We can do this again, but we need to harness the political will and determination," Hoskins said. "We have the public determination. Now it is time for governments to heed that public call."

Other provinces also stepped up efforts to support organizations that help resettle refugees.

The Manitoba government pledged an additional $40,000 to help settlement service providers in the province accommodate hundreds more refugees in the coming months. …

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