Ontario continuing to welcome and support Syrian refugees as they settle and build new lives in the province.
Since the first airplane of refugees from the Syrian conflict touched down in Ontario one year ago this week, more than 14,000 refugees have found safety and a new start in the province, with the support of the provincial government, municipalities, community service providers, sponsors and volunteers.
“The investments that we are making now will ensure that refugees are in the best position to succeed in the future. I am proud of what our government and our community partners have achieved in such a short time. Together, we are meeting an extraordinary challenge and continuing to prove that Ontario is a welcoming place for those fleeing war and oppression.” — Laura Albanese, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Ontario was an early leader in the resettlement effort, receiving more than 40 per cent of refugee arrivals to Canada. Those refugees have been settling into their new lives with the help of language training, employment training, school enrollment and are already giving back to their communities through volunteerism.
Moving forward, the province continues to support refugee families, through provincially funded refugee service providers. To date:
- More than 5,500 adults have received language assessments and are currently participating in free language training.
- Over 4,600 children have been registered in Ontario schools. The province is working with school boards to ensure refugee students have the resources and supports to succeed.
- Sponsorship training, volunteer matching and mentoring programs are providing refugees with practical support, social connections and employment leads.
- A Refugee HealthLine is connecting refugees with local health care providers.
- A network of community services is supporting at-risk children and youth.
Helping refugees settle and succeed is part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- Ontario leads the country on private sponsorship, which is a program that allows private citizens to engage in sponsoring refugees and supporting them for their first year in Canada.
- As of November 20, 2016, over 35,000 Syrian refugees had arrived in Canada.
- Over 120 Ontario communities have welcomed refugees from the Syrian conflict. Approximately 87 per cent have settled in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, Ottawa, London, Waterloo Region and Windsor.
- In 2016, Ontario expects to receive almost 18,000 resettled refugees from all sources, a figure four times higher than average annual arrivals over the ten-year period from 2005 to 2014.