More info needed on resettlement of Syrian refugees in London

London, ON, Canada / 106.9 The X

London’s Corporate Services Committee has passed a motion asking city staff to write a detailed report regarding the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the city.

The call for more information comes as the first wave of refugees will be privately sponsored (according to the London Free Press), and will be welcomed by December’s end.

The report is set to outline any additional measures the City of London will take to better support newcomers, including anticipated challenges.

“Whether it’s mental health, a language barrier, or just everyday tasks of getting by. Working with staff, [the committee is] hoping to come back with a report to really give us an update on where we’re at and what are some of the challenges we’re currently faced with, as well as try to figure out what we can do to continue to be a welcoming and supportive community,” says Ward 3 Councillor Mo Salih.

Councillor Jared Zaifman was especially pleased to see the unanimous 5-0 vote, considering his personal ties with refugee asylum in Canada.

“I know for me as the grandchild of three refugees, this is something I hold dear to my heart. And I think we need to do as much as possible to make sure that when there are people across the world who are suffering, who are coming from places where they can’t live because of the conflicts and the issues arising, that we are a welcoming place for them,” he says.

The motion comes conveniently as Mayor Matt Brown attended a forum in Ottawa Tuesday hosted by Governor General David Johnston discussing welcoming Syrian refugees to Canada.

According to Deputy Major Maureen Cassidy, it was at this meeting that the City of London and Mayor Brown were recognized for their leadership in raising $400,000 for refugee resettlement in the city.

She says Londoners should be proud of our involvement in the crisis.

“These are families that are leaving their homes – they’re mom’s and dad’s and children, and they’re at a point where they’ve lost all hope and they’ve left everything behind. So for our community to come together like this and be so welcoming, I think will do a lot to restore their hope.”

“I think we’re ready. Now it’s a matter of making sure when the volumes come that we’re well positioned and recognizing that it’s a long-term commitment and being realistic about that as well,” says Salih.

There are still no definitive dates as to when Londoners will be expecting refugees, however there are a number of partner organizations the City of London have outlined that are still looking for donations.

  • Metropolitan United Church
  • The Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario
  • The London Muslim Mosque
  • Muslim Association of Canada London Chapter
  • St. Andrew Memorial Anglican Church
  • The Presbytery of London
  • Byron United Church
  • St. Aidan’s Anglican Church of London
  • King’s University College Ministry
  • Fanshawe College
  • Western University
  • Libro Credit Union

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