For Immediate Release

September 17th, 2015

Mayor Crombie Hosts Community Summit to Support Syrian Refugees

City Hall – The Syrian migrant crisis is a human tragedy that requires the world’s attention and intervention, Mayor Crombie said today.

“I have had a number of community, faith, and business leaders reach out to me to discuss opportunities to do more to help Syrian refugees from a municipal perspective, Mayor Crombie added.  “This gathering was made possible because of our generous community.”

Your presence is a sign of the compassion and thoughtfulness that Mississaugans embody, Crombie said, to a room of 75 individuals, which included Councillors Jim Tovey, Chris Fonseca, John Kovac, Carolyn Parish, and Ron Starr; along with local leaders and reputable organizations including: the Canadian Red Cross and LifelineSyria.

The Community Summit identified 7 immediate next steps and outcomes to help provide support for refugee families and relief agencies:

  1. Individuals and organizations in attendance committed to sponsoring 32 families;
  2. LifeLine Syria will create a Mississauga Fund with the dual goals of attracting $5 million in donations from across Mississauga;
  3. Mayor and Council will actively encourage other groups, associations, and businesses to come together to donate to the Mississauga Fund;
  4. Meeting participants, from the Muslim community, issued an “Eid Challenge” calling on each mosque to raise $50,000 during Eid celebrations this month;
  5. Community mosques will also coordinate Muslim youth groups to volunteer their time and infectious energy to coordinate this support; and
  6. City of Mississauga will provide further information on its website to further engage residents on ways they can help;
  7. Like Toronto and Oakville, Mississauga will host a community information session to provide detailed information about sponsoring a refugee and how to become further involved in relief efforts.

Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish said “Today, Mayor Crombie assembled 75 of the most successful individuals, religious groups and community associations in our City to address the Syrian refugee crisis. All were intensely committed to a group effort to make Mississauga a top contributor to sponsorships and relief funds for the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who are desperate for our help. The mayor inspired instant commitments to a multi-faceted plan to raise $5 million dollars as Mississauga’s contribution to this heart wrenching crisis. I’m proud of her initiative and of the Mississaugans who have stepped up to the plate!”

Mohamad Fakih, President and CEO of Paramount Fine Foods, added “It is inspiring to see the Mayor, members of council, and community leaders, come together to pledge help to the world’s most vulnerable. It speaks volumes about our values and who we are.”

Dr. Hamid Slimi, Imam Resident Scholar and Founder of Sayeda Khadija Centre, added “Mayor Bonnie Crombie’s summit on Syria crisis not only showcased the best of Mississauga, it also united the leadership of various communities under the spirit of humanity and generosity.”

Mario J. Calla, Executive Director of COSTI Immigrant Services, said “The Syrian refugee crisis is the most significant humanitarian catastrophe of our time.  I commend Mayor Crombie for bringing together community leaders to organize humanitarian relief in the Middle East and to assist with providing sponsorships for refugees.”

Mayor Crombie went on to say that “We have all been moved and saddened by this tragedy. Canada has historically been a lifeline to refugees seeking safety, and shelter, and we must be so again.”

Mayor Crombie added that last week her office issued a statement with links to organizations where the public can go to donate, including: Red Cross; United Nations Refugee Agency; Lifeline Syria-Toronto. Mississauga’s Corporate Communications Department also shared these links to the City of Mississauga’s website, so residents can more easily donate.

Mayor Crombie concluded “Together, we will explore opportunities to better help those refugees in need of support.”