For Immediate Release

November 24th, 2015

Doing Our Part: Mayor Crombie Responds to Federal Government’s Syria Refugee Plan

The following is a statement by Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie following the federal government’s announced plans to settle 25,000 Syrian refugees:

“I applaud the federal government for taking responsible steps forward to help rescue 25,000 Syrian refugees. Let me reiterate the words of Immigration Minister John McCallum – we need to do this right.

“This undertaking is unprecedented and we are committed to working with the Trudeau and Wynne governments to achieve their targets of settling 25,000 new refugees – 10,000 of which will be in Ontario – and to ensure the safe arrival and integration of refugee families into their new home communities.

“Mississauga has always been welcoming to refugees and our doors are always open. As a community, we have wasted little time doing our part to help with the Syrian refugee crisis. Specifically, let me single out a number of important action items we have undertaken.

“On September 17, my office organized a Syrian Community Summit which brought together community, faith, and business leaders all committed to addressing the Syrian migrant crisis.

“An immediate action item from this meeting was to work with Lifeline Syria to set up a Mississauga Lifeline Syria Fund.  The fund is up and running. It will make grants to registered charities to pay for costs associated with sponsoring and settling Syrian refugees to Mississauga and the GTA.

“On October 20, we opened the doors of City Hall and invited all residents to participate in a Lifeline Syria Sponsorship Session. This information session was an important opportunity for residents to better understand how they can do their part to support the thousands of families fleeing violence.

“On November 7, we further made available free work space at City Hall to allow Lifeline Syrian to allow for rapid-fire processing of applications of refugees, and help sponsors move ahead with bringing families to Canadian communities.

“On November 12 Peel Council endorsed my motion calling on the Region of Peel to urgently develop a comprehensive action plan to coordinate efforts to accommodate the influx of Syrian refugees. We need to be ready to do our part. The compassionate thing to do is to have a plan.

“On December 10, we will once again host, at City Hall, a Case Information Sessions for the Syrian-Canadian community to inform them of the application process, their responsibilities as the Canadian Contacts for these refugees, and their roles in the settlement and integration process.

“I also want to single out community groups: the United Way Peel; COSTI Immigrant Services; Access Employment; Neighbourhood Services; African Canadian Services; and Newcomer Centre of Peel.

“These organizations, among others, are ready to do their part to work with the Region of Peel and area municipalities, to help those fleeing bloodshed and violence, in pursuit of safety and freedom.”