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

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

VIDEO: What you need to know today at the B.C. Games

All 19 events are underway across Kamloops, where five to 10 cm of snow is expected to fall

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Maritimes want their own CFL team

Their biggest hurdle is getting a stadium commitment in place

Sask. school shooter to be sentenced as adult

The man was just shy of his 18th birthday when he killed four people and injured seven others

Internet questions PM’s fashion choices in India

The Trudeaus’ eight-day visit has been dogged by various controversies since it began Feb. 17

Adopted potbelly pig killed and eaten on Vancouver Island

Animal had been adopted out from the SPCA in Duncan; staff are devastated by news

WATCH: Walking from Argentina to Alaska one step at a time

Holly “Cargo” Harrison is in Williams Lake, resting a pulled hamstring before he continues on his 15,000-mile walk to Alaska.

BCHL Today: Merritt Centennials keep moving while Salmon Arm Silverbacks slide

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

Former Canuck Roberto Luongo addresses Florida shooting victims

Parkland, Fla., resident, delivers speech before Florida Panthers’ first home game since tragedy

Most Read