Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Volunteers sort through clothing donations for Syrian refugees who are expected to arrive in Canada within the next month, at the Middle Eastern Friendship Centre in Surrey, British Columbia November 26, 2015.

Ben Nelms/Reuters

The British Columbia government expects more than 200 privately sponsored Syrian refugees will arrive here by the end of the year – though it remains unclear how many of the 25,000 refugees expected nationwide by the end of February will settle in the province.

Immigration and Refugees Minister John McCallum, B.C. Jobs Minister Shirley Bond and representatives from settlement organizations and community groups met Wednesday in Surrey to discuss arrival, resettlement and integration plans for the refugees.

Ms. Bond said 217 privately sponsored refugees are expected to arrive in B.C. within the next few weeks.

Story continues below advertisement

"At the moment, the first wave of refugees coming to British Columbia are privately sponsored. They will arrive before Christmas," she told reporters. While the vast majority of the refugees will reside within the Lower Mainland, Ms. Bond said some are headed for different areas of the province, such as Kelowna and Prince George.

The number of privately sponsored refugees expected to arrive in B.C. between the beginning of January and the end of February has not been determined. The number of government-assisted refugees slated to arrive in the province is also unclear. Ms. Bond said the provincial government has told Ottawa it's prepared to take up to 3,500 government-assisted refugees.

The B.C. government in September announced a $1-million fund to assist Syrian refugees who settle in the province. Ms. Bond said Wednesday that $500,000 from that fund will go to five refugee response teams that will be made up of refugee service providers and will establish the resettlement plan.

The remaining $500,000 will go to the Immigrant Services Society of B.C. so it can connect private sponsors, settlement workers, counsellors and other service providers. The organization will also track volunteer offers, donations, and housing and employment leads, and establish supports for refugees who have been traumatized.

Ms. Bond also announced that $1.5-million will be made available through the Canada-B.C. Job Grant to assist refugees and new Canadians with skills training. She said the province will invest an additional $2.6-million in language training for refugees and other immigrants.

"British Columbia wants to be part of the solution. British Columbians have expressed in unbelievable ways across this province their generosity and their willingness to be part of the solution," she said.

Mr. McCallum, who was in Jordan over the weekend and spoke at a Calgary event earlier Wednesday, described the refugee effort as a "national project."

Story continues below advertisement

He lauded the generosity of British Columbians, particularly the Sikh community and Vancouver developer Ian Gillespie.

Sikh Khalsa Schools have offered one year of free education to 1,000 refugee students. Lower Mainland gurdwaras are willing to provide free meals and are also collecting non-perishable food, clothing and blankets. A local Sikh grocer has offered free groceries to refugees for up to three months.

"It was the Sikh community, which I belong to, who stepped up and said we wanted to do a co-ordinated effort. And when we got them together, it was an overwhelming response," Randeep Sarai, MP for Surrey Centre, told reporters.

Mr. Sarai said job offers have also started coming in from trucking companies and the trades.

"The goal of this is to inspire others, so we hope that other communities coast to coast, but especially in this province, show their generosity," he said.

Mr. Gillespie, of Westbank Projects Corp., has offered the Immigrant Services Society the use of 12 units over the next four and a half months. Every family will also receive free groceries.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies