What Syrian refugees can expect when they arrive in Quebec
Plans shaping up to welcome 3,650 Syrians expected to arrive in province by end of 2015
Quebec's plans to welcome Syrian refugees are becoming clearer after a flurry of announcements today.
The province is set to accept 3,650 refugees before the end of the year and another 3,650 in 2016.
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Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said the city, which will take on the bulk of the refugees in the province, is ironing out plans to make their arrival easier.
"The City of Montreal will have a number of roles to fill," he told a news conference Tuesday.
"That is why it is important to be involved from the start."
Here's what we know so far about how the process will work.
Newcomers will be welcomed at gates 17 and 19, which is located away from the main terminal. The public and other passengers will not have access to the portion specifically set aside for incoming refugees.
The organization will also cover all airport fees for the flights.
The Canada Border Services Agency has set up temporary ports of entry at both the Trudeau airport and Toronto's Pearson Airport.
Public health officials will check for signs of illness that might require quarantine.
Individuals who pass the checks will become permanent residents of Canada. All will then continue on to a welcome centre. In Montreal, it will require a short bus ride.
The facilities include food, water, a play area for children and prayer rooms. People will receive winter clothing and get a Social Insurance Number. They'll then be taken to a local hotel for an overnight stay and a meal before beginning the next step.
After that, even bigger challenges await.
Montreal has started an inventory of possible affordable housing options that are up to code.
"The last thing we want to do is suggest units that are not in good condition," Coderre said.
Canadian Forces Base Valcartier, near Quebec City, is also planning to house refugees.
Labour Minister Sam Hamad said employers can take advantage of an existing work placement program that provides new immigrants and Canada-born visible minorities in Quebec with a first job experience.
The program, known as PRIIME, provides subsidies that help cover an employee's wages, training and other needs up to $15,000.
"It's easy, it's simple. If you are a company, you want to hire a new immigrant or refugee, you want to offer him a first work experience, the government is ready to subsidize around $15,000 in salary," Hamad said.
The Commission Scolaire de Montreal says it has been able to find space at schools around the island.
In addition, the expansion of François-de-Laval school in Cartierville will be ready Dec. 18.
That will free up 9 classes.
Lester B. Pearson School Board, meanwhile, has asked that the province waive requirements of Quebec's language law, Bill 101, so it can welcome refugees.
"We have the capacity, and we have the resources," said the board's chairwoman, Suanne Stein Day.
Upon arrival, he said the refugees will be processed and given a Quebec health care card.
He said even before getting off the plane, each one has an appointment booked at a special refugee medical clinic
After that, Barrette said the newcomers will be taken into the care of their sponsors.
Coderre also announced upcoming measures including an integration hotline that refugees can call seven days a week.
Those who need help or information can call 514 527-6951 from 6 a.m to 6 p.m. It will be in place until the end of 2016.
The city is also looking at striking a deal with the STM to ensure that newcomers have access to public transit on the Island of Montreal.
With files from The Canadian Press