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Ontario Enhancing Services for Refugees

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Ontario Enhancing Services for Refugees

Ontario is continuing to support services for refugees across the province by investing more than $3.8 million to help them settle and integrate successfully.

The funding will help communities that have generously welcomed large numbers of refugees, and includes:

  • $3.3 million to help 26 agencies across the province deliver settlement services in refugees’ first language, such as special programming for refugee women, children and youth; and to work with other community partners to address refugee needs in areas such as adult training and employment assistance, and health and mental health.
  • Up to $200,000 to train front-line settlement workers to better identify mental health concerns and ensure proper referrals and supports.
  • Up to $70,000 in additional support for student mental health and well-being through the School Mental Health ASSIST, which is a provincial support team that is helping district school boards promote mental health and respond to the social and emotional needs of newcomer students and families from the Syrian conflict.
  • Up to $280,000 to support summer programming for refugee student s that h as helped them improve their literacy and numeracy skills, catch-up on missed education and promote integration.

The investments announced today represent $1.55 million in addition to government’s commitment of $10.5 million in September 2015, which included $2 million for immediate overseas relief and $8.5 million over 2.5 years for refugee resettlement and integration supports in Ontario.

“By supporting settlement agencies and other local partners across the province, Ontario is helping ensure the availability of services critical for refugees to start their new lives, contribute to economic growth and enrich the province’s cultural fabric.”  — Laura Albanese, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Investing in refugee settlement and integration supports for newcomers is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario’s history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

QUICK FACTS

  • Over 12,000 refugees from the Syrian conflict have made Ontario their home since November 2015.
  • Ontario has received about 40 per cent of the refugees from the Syrian conflict who have arrived in Canada since November 2015, and projects to receive well over 20,000 refugees from all parts of the world in 2016.
  • Ontario is collaborating with federal and municipal governments, as well as community partners, on refugee settlement and integration.