As a settlement service provider, the Squamish Settlement Services/ Welcome Centre welcomes the federal government’s plans to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada. Our aim on this page is to provide information and updates on the resettlement initiative, on the supports available to refugees, on the process to sponsor refugees to our community, and on settlement services available in Squamish.
Information and updates on the resettlement initiative
Visit www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/welcome/index.asp for a Federal webpage aiming to centralize donation, sponsor and volunteer information. You will also find information on where and how many refugees are being resettled. If you are thinking about sponsoring a refugee, this is a good place to start. And there are many other ways to help.
Information about the refugee initiative in BC is available through AMSSA (Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC) who are issuing daily bulletins, updates and information at www.amssa.org/syrian-refugee-resettlement-resources
On December 2, the provincial government announced plans to support refugees arriving to BC. For details, see https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2015JTST0182-002011
As part of that announcement, ISSofBC is being funded to provide supports to settlement service providers across the province. For information on how this will work and to see how you can help with Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) arriving in Vancouver visit the ISSofBC Refugee Crisis link at www.issbc.org/prim-corp-nav/our-work-with-refugees/refugee-crisis
We’re also posting updates on our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/squamishcommonground/?ref=hl
Support for Refugees
For more information about Federal supports for Government Assisted Refugees, click here.
For more information on the Canada Job Grant and how to apply, please visit: www.workbc.ca
Privately Sponsoring Refugees
Canadians can sponsor refugees in three different ways:
During the Sponsorship Period the SPONSORING GROUP promises to provide:
Reception- Meet the refugees upon arrival in the community, provide an orientation to life in Canada.
Lodging- Provide suitable accommodation, basic furniture, and other household essentials
Care- Provide food, clothing, local transportation costs and other basic necessities of life
Settlement Assistance and Support
However, SPONSORING GROUPS are NOT responsible for:
For more information go to http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/welcome/sponsor.asp
IRCC (formerly Citizenship & Immigration Canada) Settlement Services for newcomers to Canada:
Service Provider: Capilano University with local service partners, Squamish Immigrant Services & Welcome Centre.
Contact details in Squamish: Program Manager, Pam Gliatis tel. 604.892.5322 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Settlement Worker: Hasrat Grewal-Gill tel. 604-567-2222 email: email@example.com
Contact location: Hotspot @ 38027 Cleveland Ave, Squamish, BC, V8B0B8
LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada)
Classes for adults age 17 and older. English Language Assessments for class placement and referrals to formal language training classes:
Service Provider: ISSofBC (Immigrant Services Society of BC)
Contact details in Squamish: Site Manager, Tara Ramsey tel. 604.567.4990 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact location: ISSofBC Squamish, 101 – 38085 2nd Avenue, Squamish, BC V8B 0C3
When will refugees be arriving in Squamish?
We don’t know. Government Assisted Refugees will all go to Vancouver. Some Squamish members are preparing to sponsor refugees to come here. The sponsorship application includes the development of a detailed settlement plan by the private community members ‘Groups of 5’, and could take as long as 6 months to 1 year. Contact us (link for email) for a copy of the Sponsoring Group Handbook for Groups of Five.
In Squamish, some Groups of Five are already setting up. To connect to the community of folks who are preparing to help refugees via Facebook and website:
What is the role of Squamish Immigrant Settlement Services and the Welcome Centre?
For those sponsored privately by ‘Groups of 5’, the sponsors are responsible to support the refugees (and their families) financially through the initial settlement process (see above) for a minimum of 1 year, to a maximum of 3 years, depending on the needs of the refugees.
Squamish Immigrant Settlement Services (IRCC funded settlement service) works in partnership with Capilano University and Welcome Centre located at Hotspot to deliver the services listed overleaf. All sponsors will be able to introduce their sponsored refugees to these services once their basic requirements are fulfilled.
How can you help?
If you would like to get involved, we offer volunteer tutor and translator training. We welcome everyone, including the refugee families to participate in cultural sharing activities, events and programs at the Hotspot/Welcome centre.
For more information on our programs and events: