Minister Kathleen Weil said Quebec would accept 3,650 Syrian refugees — triple the number of the initial objective for 2015
CBC News Posted: Sep 07, 2015 11:53 AM ET Last Updated: Sep 07, 2015 11:57 AM ET
Quebec’s immigration minister on Monday outlined the new extraordinary measures being taken by the province to accept more Syrian refugees.
Minister Kathleen Weil said the province would accept 3,650 Syrian refugees — triple the number of the initial objective for 2015.
“In the face of the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, we can do better,” Weil said of existing efforts in Canada to help Syrian refugees.
Weil said 1,800 Syrians would be welcomed through collective sponsorship, while 650 will be government-sponsored. She said she wants to fast-track sponsorships to get refugees to safety as quickly as possible.
Types of refugee sponsorship in Quebec:
Government-sponsored refugees have many of their resettlement expenses paid for by the state and receive government help to integrate. Ottawa sets the target for the number that can be accepted this way.
Collectively sponsored refugees in Quebec receive the financial support of a group or organization that agrees to take charge of them, signing an undertaking to help them financially, finding them work and taking other steps to help them integrate into Quebec.
The province expects to spend $29 million in services for new refugees, and is asking the federal government to facilitate the 650 state sponsorships.
“These exceptional measures that we’re proposing today respond to the requests of Quebecers who want to do more to help Syrian refugees,” Weil said in Montreal.
Quebec has welcomed 651 Syrian refugees since the start of 2015.
Images of desperate refugees making the perilous journey to Europe by raft and boat to escape the war-torn nation have resonated across the globe, particularly a photo of a dead boy washed up on a Turkish beach.
More than four million Syrians have fled the country since a civil war erupted there in 2011.
At least several hundred thousand Syrians have died in the conflict.