Old Montreal Children's could house Syrian refugees, YMCA says

The YMCA wants to use the old Montreal Children's Hospital to house Syrian refugees. "We could accommodate them there and our team would be ready," co-ordinator Jery Ralainony says.

Quebec could resettle up to 5,400 Syrian refugees as part of Canada's 2015 commitment

The old Montreal Children's has been vacant since the hospital moved to the MUHC earlier this year. (CBC)

The old Montreal Children's Hospital could house Syrian refugees if the YMCA has its way.

The nearby YMCA residence already has 150 rooms, most of which are already occupied — some by refugees from various countries.

Jery Ralainony, a co-ordinator at the residence, said the YMCA is eager to help house some of the thousands of Syrians expected to arrive in Montreal within weeks.

"We could accommodate them there and our team would be ready," he said.

Co-ordinator Jery Ralainony says the YMCA is awaiting a response from the government regarding its request to use the old Children's hospital. (CBC)
The YMCA has made a request to Quebec's immigration ministry to use facilities left vacant since the Children's moved to the new MUHC site.

At the old building, residents would have lodging, a cafeteria and access to information sessions on housing, community integration and Canadian police, Ralainony said. 

The YMCA says it's awaiting a response from the province.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has committed to bringing 25,000 refugees to Canada by the end of year, but the federal government is still working out the details of its plan for doing so.

Quebec Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil has said the province has the capacity to accept about 5,400 refugees as part of the commitment.


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