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Manitoba Welcomes First Wave of Syrian Refugees

December 21, 2015 2:24 PM | News

By Sarah Klein

The Manitoba government welcome the first wave of Syrian refugees to the province on Monday.

Premier Greg Selinger, Mayor Brian Bowman and other officials welcomed a group of refugees at the Welcome Place on Bannatyne Avenue.

“Families coming from Syria have lost so much and struggled greatly to make our province their new home, and many Manitobans are working hard to make them feel welcome,” Selinger said. “While the weather might be colder than they are used to, I hope the warmth of our welcome will help them settle in and begin their new lives in Canada.”

Refugees landed in Winnipeg on Saturday — many of whom are destined to Altona by way of sponsor families.

More than 25,000 Syrian refugees will be arriving in Canada over the next few months. Approximately 1,500 to 2,000 of them will soon be living in Manitoba.

“I know the families arriving now will soon be settled and creating new lives right across the city and the province, helping build stronger communities,” said Rita Chahal, executive director of Welcome Place.

The Manitoba government is providing $1.4 million in additional funding for refugees, offering financial assistance to integrate families into society, provide employment and mental health supports, and connect Syrian refugees to employment and job training.

Those wishing to make a donation or volunteer with refugee settlement plans can call 1-888-662-3211 from Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Anyone with a home available for a long-term basis to house refugees (two- to five-bedroom homes, apartments and condos with month-to-month leases) can contact refugeehousing@gov.mb.ca.