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Questions and Answers about Syrian refugees in Calgary

How many Syrian refugees have arrived in Calgary?

According to the Government of Canada, 1,400 Syrian refugees have arrived in Calgary between November 04, 2015 and March 04, 2016. 

What kind of settlement support will Syrian refugees receive when they arrive?

The Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS) is responsible for coordinating the arrival and settlement for Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) who part of the federal government’s response. Their services include welcoming refugees at the airport, providing temporary accommodations for government-assisted refugees, assisting newcomers as they secure housing, access healthcare, and adjust to life in Canada. There are also a number of other settlement agencies in Calgary providing similar supports to refugees.

 

What kind of community services are available to refugees?

Once refugees arrive in Calgary, immigrant-serving agencies and other community organizations can provide services to address the unique needs of refugees, such as language-training, orientation to life in Calgary and post-trauma counseling. See our Getting Started in Calgary page for more information about City and community resources and services for all newcomers, including refugees and their sponsors.

 

We understand that refugees are supported by private or government sponsorship for one year. What happens when the year is up?

Refugees and those who support their resettlement are highly motivated to find work, integrate their children into the education system and get involved in their new communities. Settlement agencies and other nonprofit organizations across the city are positioned to provide longer-term supports to assist refugees as they settle in Calgary. After the first year, refugees must qualify for any social supports they may require, as does any other Canadian. See our Getting Started in Calgary page for more information about City and community resources and services for all newcomers, including refugees and their sponsors.

 

Will The City be able to provide services needed for newcomers to Calgary?

Yes. On average, Calgary welcomes 1100 refugees per year from around the world. There may be a few more people accessing services but we are confident The City can accommodate these needs. See our Getting Started in Calgary page for more information about City and community resources and services for all newcomers, including refugees and their sponsors.

 

Is The City of Calgary providing housing for the refugees?

No, The City does not provide housing for refugees.

 

Where will they live?

The focus for housing is on the use of private landlord rental units that are currently vacant and available for market or subsidized rates. Where a refugee ends up living depends on their needs and what is available to them at an affordable cost at the time of their arrival.

 

Who pays for their housing?

Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) receive a monthly supplement from the Federal Government under the Refugee Assistance Program for one year after their arrival. This supplement is meant to contribute to housing costs and other basic needs following a refugee's initial arrival in Canada. Housing costs for privately sponsored refugees are covered by their sponsors during their first year in Canada. Some private landlords and private sector companies have voluntarily offered additional support in the form of small rent subsidies for a time-limited period.

 

Who will cover the costs of rent, food, and other essentials for refugees?

Government-sponsored refugees receive a monthly supplement from the Federal Government under the Refugee Assistance Program for one year after their arrival. This supplement is meant to help cover housing costs and other basic needs following a refugee's initial arrival in Canada.

 

Is The City providing financial assistance to Syrian refugees?

No, The City is not providing financial assistance to Syrian or other refugees or newcomers.

 

How can I welcome the Syrian refugees at the airport?

To protect the privacy and security of the arriving refugees and their sponsors, arrival information is not shared by The City or the Calgary Airport. Calgary Catholic Immigrant Society (CCIS) manages the welcome of their privately sponsored refugees and government-assisted refugees at the airport as part of their initial settlement services. Other private sponsors (church groups, families, Groups of Five) may share this information at their discretion. If you do show up at the airport to welcome refugees, please keep in mind that not every person or sponsor is comfortable with this approach.