British Columbia

B.C. prepares for Syrian refugee influx

As British Columbia braces for an influx of Syrian refugees, the province's main immigrant settlement service has called an emergency meeting to plan for their arrival.

In Burnaby, a mosque has raised $30,000 for the newcomers

Syrian refugees cross a cornfield on their way to Europe. (Reuters)

As British Columbia braces for an influx of Syrian refugees, the province's main immigration settlement service has called an emergency meeting to plan for their arrival.

The session, scheduled for next Monday and organized by the Immigration Services Society of B.C., is aimed at bringing together key officials from housing and health and government sectors who will be involved in the initial phase of the refugees' arrival.

The Immigration Services Society says the response from people wanting to help has been tremendous.

So far, there have been 281 offers of housing, 650 people who want to volunteer their time and 20 job leads.

It's estimated that 2,700 Syrian refugees are expected to arrive in B.C. by the end of the year.

Mosque opens doors to refugees

In Burnaby, a mosque has raised $30,000 for the newcomers. The money, raised by worshippers at the Masjid al-Salaam mosque, will provide food and shelter, said David Ali of the B.C. Muslim Association. The mosque will also provide counsellors and doctors to help the newcomers.

"[They] come with ideas," Ali said. "They said, 'Well, I have got two bedrooms available. We can give it out and we have whole furniture we can donate.'"

It's expected that members will take refugees into their homes, but the mosque is getting ready to provide beds and meals if needed. It will also provide counsellors and doctors.

with files from Belle Puri

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now