2 more refugee families expected in Yukon this summer

The federal government is scaling down its operation to bring refugees to Canada but Yukon groups aren't giving up on plans to bring two more families into the territory.

Yukon Cares says Feb. 29 deadline for matching charitable donations won't interfere with their efforts

The first group of Syrian refugees, a family of 11, arrived in Whitehorse on Jan. 31. (Sandi Coleman/CBC)

The federal government is scaling down its operation to bring refugees to Canada but Yukon groups aren't giving up on plans to bring two more families into the territory.

Kirsten Bradley with Yukon Cares said even though government sponsorship is capped at 25,000 refugees, there's no limit to private and semi-private sponsorship. 

Yukon Cares and Riverdale Baptist Church are using the blended program to sponsor two refugee families. That means the groups raise half the amount needed to support the families for a year, and the government pays the other half. 

The federal government announced in September it would match donations up to $100 million made to registered Canadian charities to help Syrian refugees. It set Feb. 29 as the deadline for this program. 

"I don't think that the February 29 deadline is going to dramatically change our process from our end," said Bradley. 

"They [the federal government] do still have a commitment to allowing community groups to privately sponsor refugees. There's no limit on refugees from Syria or Iraq that can come into Canada this year as long as there are community groups that are willing to sponsor them."

Bradley said she expects the two more refugee families to arrive this summer. The first family arrived on Jan. 31.

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