Syrian refugees arrive aboard a dinghy after crossing from Turkey

Syrian refugees arrive aboard a dinghy after crossing from Turkey

B.C. offers hotline, $1M fund to help Syrian refugees

Premier Christy Clark calls on B.C. residents to sponsor a refugee, pledges to work with volunteers

The B.C. government has added $1 million to its budget for helping refugees settle in the province, and has opened a toll-free information line for those who want to sponsor people fleeing violence in Syria.

Premier Christy Clark announced the funding in Vancouver Tuesday, along with a toll-free information number for community groups and private sponsors at 1-877-952-6914.

Clark said the province currently spends about $4 million a year to support the federal program that settles immigrants in B.C. The extra funds will be reserved for assistance to Syrian refugees, she said.

“It is our belief that it’s just not good enough to totally open our doors,” Clark said. “We have to make sure that when refugees get here, we’re doing everything that we can to help them realize the Canadian dream and find their way as seamlessly as possible in to British Columbia.”

The one-time investment will be used for trauma counselling, help for for groups of citizens to navigate the refugee sponsorship process, foreign credential recognition and community and employer supports including matching training funds for those committed to hiring a Syrian refugee.

Clark said all the federal parties have indicated they want to increase refugee intake in response to the Syrian civil war, and B.C. has supported that position for several years. Last year about 36,000 immigrants arrived in B.C., and about 1,500 were refugees.

Our job isn’t to decide who’s coming in when,” Clark said. “That’s their job. Our job is to make sure we’re ready.”

 

Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by: WeissPaarz.com
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read