Please refer our refugee response webpage or follow the links below for ways you can contribute, including:
Individuals across the province are encouraged to help raise awareness, collect donation of funds and goods and to strengthen solidarity in support of the resettlement efforts for Syrian refugees. In addition to the options above, individuals may choose to:
Many resettlement agencies will graciously accept donations for the public interested in contributing to refugee resettlement efforts and sponsorship funds. More information on how to donate can be found on our donation information page.
For those interested in private refugee sponsorship, please visit the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada page for more information.
We also created a Private Refugee Sponsorship Registry to facilitate mentoring and support of private sponsor groups across the province. Please contact us should you wish to get in touch with other private refugee sponsors in your area.
For general information on Canada’s role in assisting refugees, please visit the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Department website.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated his commitment of resettling 25,000 refugees from Syria over and above our current commitments between 5800 and 6500 per year. Of the 25,000 refugees, an estimated 7,000 refugees will be coming through private sponsorship programs, while the remaining number are Government Assisted Refugees. The admitted refugees will largely be from female headed households and young families that pose no security risk.
This response would be the largest refugee resettlement plan since the 1980s South East Asian refugee response. The question is not how many Syrian refugees will be resettled to Canada but when to expect them in our region.
A Government Assisted Refugee (GAR) is a registered refugee selected from abroad by the Government of Canada for resettlement. GARs hold permanent resident (PR) status upon arrival and receive financial and other support from the Government of Canada for up to one year.
Government Assisted Refugees (GARs), upon their arrival to New Brunswick, receive Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) income benefits under national humanitarian objectives that follow the same rates as provincial income support rates for up to one year or until an individual is able to sustain him or herself, whichever comes first. RAP benefits include monthly contributions towards shelter, transportation and food. In addition, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada provides a one-time start up allowance for such things as clothing, telephone installation, toiletries and other household staples.
The large majority of refugees enter the work force within the first year of their arrival and soon become independent taxpayers and important contributors to our socio-economic development. If you wish to assist in their reentry into the work force by offering employment opportunities and support, please follow this link.
For general information about sponsoring a refugee see the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada Help Centre.
Thousands of refugees a year are helped by the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. Individuals can form a Group of Five to sponsor refugees from abroad who qualify to come to Canada. As a sponsor, you provide financial and emotional support for the refugees for the duration of the sponsorship. This includes help for housing, clothing and food. Most sponsorships last for one year, but some refugees may be eligible for assistance from their sponsors for up to three years.
Refugees must qualify for entry under Canada’s laws and must pass medical and security checks before they can come to Canada.
There are multiple options for sponsoring refugees and costs will vary according to the option best suited for you and your group such as the Group of Fives, Constituent Groups, Community Groups, Blended Visa Office-Referred Program (BVOR). For more information on the various options and associated costs, please visit the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada website.
Although the cost of living varies across the country, the rule of thumb is that sponsors are expected to provide a level of support at least equal to that of the current rates for social assistance in the expected community of settlement. It is suggested to plan for an approximate overall cost of $30,000 for one family.
For more information on social assistance rates, please visit the Government of New Brunswick website on Social Development.
Because Government Assisted Refugees arrive in Canada as permanent residents, they are free to settle anywhere in the country regardless of where they were destined. Refugees will first arrive in Toronto and Montreal for initial assessments, and then relocated in cities across the country.
In New Brunswick, Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John are among the designated communities across Canada to lead the resettlement of refugees in the province. Transition and permanent lodging will be assigned across the province in collaboration with multicultural associations and government agencies. If you have affordable housing to offer, please fill our housing information form to help us build our database.
The Government of New Brunswick’s publication (November 2015) “Intake and Resettlement of Syrian Refugees: A Provincial Perspective to Responding” provides more detailed information.
The first wave of refugees will start arriving in early December 2015. The federal government is still working on the logistical details of bringing the refugees to Canada. Since they need not only to arrange transport and accommodation, but also extensive health and security screening, they have not yet provided details to us on exact arrival dates in New Brunswick.
However, given the target of completion by the end of February, the first arrivals can reasonably be anticipated to be taking place in the next few weeks and into the early weeks of 2016. Note that the resettlement of refugees will continue throughout 2016 and beyond. Support from the community will be needed for months to come.
The member agencies of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council are working in close collaboration with other organizations and service providers across the province. Together, we are recruiting volunteers and assisting in the strategic coordination of resettlement efforts to maximize the reach of our resources and our many strengths.
NBMC is therefore a key player in the provincial coordination of resettlement efforts to ensure the needs of both the refugees and the communities are being met. We are already working closely with the resettlement agencies in all three major cities – Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John – and we are reaching out to the key service providers across the region to map out accommodation, medical services, transport and logistical support.
The NBMC has also put in the place and online platform to help disseminate prevalent information on resettlement efforts and offer a central portal for offers of assistance from generous individuals from across New Brunswick. To find out how you can support local efforts, please contact your local multicultural association.
The Geneva Convention definition of a refugee is a person who “owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country” Source: “Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees”, Office of UNHCR, August 2007.
What can you tell me about Syrians?
Here are a few quick facts about Syrians (source):
For more information on the conflict in Syria and the humanitarian response in the area, please visit the UN-OCHA website (UN agency for humanitarian response).
For statistics and more information on Canada’s recent history in refugee resettlement, please follow this link.
Want more information? Our colleagues at the Saint John Multicultural and Newcomer Resource Centre have put together a comprehensive list of handbooks and guides on refugee sponsorship and more.