Montreal's private sector pitches in to help Syrian refugees
Foundation of Greater Montreal creates fund to be administered by Red Cross
Montreal's private sector is pitching in to help welcome Syrian refugees to the city.
The Foundation of Greater Montreal announced Wednesday it is donating $750,000 to help organizations that deal with Syrian refugees in the region.
Some of the money comes from corporate donors such as CN Rail, General Motors and Manulife. The fund will be administered by the Red Cross.
Immigration Minister John McCallum and Mayor Denis Coderre were on hand for the announcement at the St. James the Apostle Church in downtown Montreal.
McCallum said efforts from the private sector would help address two major changes facing refugees: housing and employment.
"Good progress is being made," he said, adding that 69 per cent of Syrian refugees across the country have been housed compared with 52 per cent a few weeks ago.
"When you have huge numbers of refugees coming in...you never solve the problem overnight. But I think the speed at which housing is being addressed augurs well."
Representatives from non-profits and the city's business community were also present for the announcement.
Between January 1, 2015 and March 13, 2016, Montreal, Laval and Longueuil have accepted 4,411 of the 5,326 Syrian refugees to arrive in Quebec.
Ninety-five per cent of the refugees accepted in the Greater Montreal have come through private sponsorships. In the rest of Canada, 80 pre cent are state sponsored.