This afternoon, Vancouver City Council passed the following motion unanimously. This is the motion sent to us by John Sewell and Doug Earl of Canada4Refugees, a coalition we joined of private sponsors across Canada waiting for families to arrive. The Canada4Refugees coalition hopes motions like this will be passed in various cities/towns across Canada.
Action to Speed Refugee Arrivals
At the Regular Council meeting on December 13, 2016, Vancouver City Council referred this matter to the Standing Committee on City Finance and Services meeting on December 14, 2016, to hear from speakers.
MOVED by Councillor Meggs SECONDED by Mayor Robertson
Many citizen sponsors responded very positively to the government’s call in late 2015 for Syrian refugees to come to Canada;
Many groups raised money, undertook training and generally prepared to welcome a refugee family;
Because of a change in policy by the federal government, many sponsorship groups and Groups of five are still waiting for refugee families, including groups in Vancouver;
It has been shown that the best way to integrate refugees into Canadian society is with a group of citizens hosting them.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED
THAT Council request the federal government to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that refugee families both from Syria and other countries are processed, and travel arrangements made, so the sponsorship groups and Groups of 5 that are ready to host such refugees can welcome those refugee families within three months; and further.
THAT the Mayor write to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and
John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, to urge them to take quick action on this matter.