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Tri-Community Public Information Session re: Syrian Refugee Crisis

November 3, 2015

MONCTON – On Thursday, November 12, residents and organizations of the tri-community area are cordially invited to attend a public information session focusing on the Syrian Refugee Crisis. To be held from 6:30-8 pm at Edith Cavell School (125 Park Street), several local partners and experts will provide key information on the process to welcome refugees in our community. Following the presentations, attendees will be able to speak directly with the participants in order to learn how they can help in this international crisis. 

"As always, the residents of Moncton have expressed a desire to help those in need. This public information session will help answer questions regarding the refugee process and enable those who wish to offer assistance to get the information they need. We are pleased to facilitate this dialogue among potential volunteers and the partners who ensure the integration of our newest residents," said Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc. 

"Municipalities and the leadership of the City of Moncton are critical to the success of Canada's response to the refugee resettlement crisis," said FCM President, Raymond Louie. 

"As a municipal government, we are ready to lend a helping hand and support the organizations that are already on the ground providing services to make immigration easier for those newcomers arriving in our regions. The Syrian refugees arriving will be fully supported by our communities," confirmed Yvon Lapierre, Mayor of Dieppe.

"Riverview joins the growing list of Canadian municipalities doing their part to help those affected by the humanitarian crisis," said Riverview Mayor Ann Seamans. "Residents who want to help or who have expressed an interest in privately sponsoring a Syrian refugee family are invited to this public meeting on November 12 to learn about the various actions they can take to address the crisis and welcome refugee families to our communities." 

"As our community shows its tremendous heart in opening its doors to those most in need, MAGMA stands ready to draw on its 35 years of experience in integrating refugees in order to provide much-needed advice and support to sponsors and newcomers alike," said Jean-Pierre Alexandre, Executive Director of MAGMA. 

About the participants:

MAGMA (Multicultural Association of Greater Moncton Area)
MAGMA provides core settlement services to refugees and independent immigrants alike, including:

  • Providing key logistic support such as finding a place to live, setting up finances, and connecting them to essential government, health and support services;
  • Integrating their children into the school system and social environment;
  • Providing access to language classes in English or French as needed;
  • Enabling them to find or even create suitable employment.

Since refugees usually come from situations where they've had little or no access to basic health services, education or housing, in addition to these core service we also help them become members of their new community through specialized resettlement services such as:

  • Providing core life skills that Canadians often take for granted;
  • Educating on transportation, nutrition and self-care;
  • Protecting their rights and ensuring their safety.

Between the settlement, language and employment all of MAGMA's staff (currently nearly 30) will be involved to a greater or lesser extent in providing support.

Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches
The Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches is one of about 100 Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) authorized by the department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada to manage and be responsible for refugee sponsorships. The group assists any group interested in sponsorship, as well as provides training and monitoring, and signs undertakings for groups sponsoring through a local church or parish. Currently, the Convention has a goal of bringing 50 refugee families from the Middle East Crisis to the Atlantic region. The first family arrived on August 20th and a new family is being selected about every week. (Constituent Groups of a SAH more easily participate in all private sponsorship streams.) 

Josie Marks, Immigration and Refugee Lawyer
The Government of Canada has various programs through which private citizens and community groups can sponsor refugees overseas for resettlement in Canada. These programs include Sponsorship Agreement Holders (incorporated religious, ethnocultural or community organizations who have signed formal agreements with the federal government to resettle refugees abroad in Canada), Community Sponsors (local organizations supporting refugee resettlement in their community) and Groups of Five (G5) (five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents who collectively arrange to resettle a refugee or refugee family in their community). A brief overview of these sponsorship streams will be provided, including who is eligible to sponsor and be sponsored, as well as an outline of sponsors' responsibilities and the sponsorship process. 

Canadian Red Cross
The Canadian Red Cross continues to support refugee operations in Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Germany, Greece, Serbia, Italy, Macedonia, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia. Additionally we have supporting the German Red Cross with logistical and technical support such as having airlifted 10,000 cots and 10,000 blankets and sending 26 staff and volunteers to help manage emergency shelters. Gail Brownlee will be on site to help promote how the public can donate to the Red Cross to help fund this operation.

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Media Contact: 

Nicole O. Melanson
Communications, City of Moncton
506-383-6214 / nicole.melanson@moncton.ca