Waterloo Region could get up to 1,150 refugees in next two months
Health care, learning English considered top needs for incoming refugees
A new document from Immigration Partnership of Waterloo Region estimates that as many as 1,150 refugees could arrive in the area in the next two months.
The IPWR is a community partnership with over 100 members, directed by a governing council, and that receives funding from all levels of government.
According to the paper from the group, about 850 government assisted refugees and about 300 privately-sponsored refugees could arrive in the next two months. That jump would exceed Kitchener's annual yearly refugee intake by over 250 per cent.
The federal government has said it intends to settle 25,000 refugees in Canada by the end of the year, while the province of Ontario said it would help resettle another 10,000 refugees, mostly through private sponsorship efforts, by the end of 2016.
The IPWR says there are just six sites in Ontario where government assisted refugees are settled:
According to projected figures from Citizenship and Immigration for 2013-2015, Kitchener is the destination for about 3.7 per cent of all government-assisted refugees in Canada, or about 12 per cent of government assisted refugees in Ontario.
Health care and learning English were the top two refugee needs, according to case workers contacted by the partnership.