Calgary

Syrian refugees: Calgary near top of private sponsorships

Calgarians are stepping up when it comes to sponsoring Syrian refugees, with the city ranking third for the most private sponsors in the country.

Government stats show 502 already sponsored in city, third most in the country

Calgary is third across Canada in terms of the number of privately sponsored Syrian refugees it will welcome. (Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press)

Calgarians are stepping up when it comes to sponsoring Syrian refugees, with the city ranking third for the most private sponsors in the country. 

That's according to federal government figures released today that show 24 privately sponsored refugees have arrived since Nov. 4, with a further 478 in process. 

At 502 total privately sponsored refugees, Calgary has more than double British Columbia's 217. Saskatchewan only has 34 in total, while Newfoundland and Labrador clocks in at nine.

"I know we're in an economic downturn and times are tough, but that's when Calgarians step up," said Marg Seeger, who helped spearhead a fundraising campaign at Sunalta School to sponsor a Syrian family.

Stepping up

Arthur Clark, who co-founded the Calgary Centre for Global Community, said he's excited to see the city step up.

He plans to help sponsor two families who aren't even on the list yet, indicating there will be more than the 502 recorded so far.  

He says it's great that Calgarians are "thinking first of ourselves as human beings, not thinking first of ourselves as Canadians or Muslims or Christians or whatever."

Calgary was only behind Toronto and Willowdale, Ont, which is in the Greater Toronto area. Numbers for Quebec were not listed, as the province is responsible for it own refugee approvals. 

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