The federal government still plans to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year, but Canada has taken in an even greater number of people fleeing conflict in the past.
Between 1979 and 1980 alone, the country accepted 50,0000 refugees from war-torn Vietnam.
Dr. Soma Ganesan, a psychiatrist at Vancouver General Hospital, was part of this group. He says Canadians can do a lot to help.
“Receive as much information as possible about what kind of hardship they went through so that they develop some cultural understanding and sensitivity of the people that coming to settle here.”
Ganesan says he thinks Canada’s experience with several influxes of refugees since then, including Afghanis and Kosovars will mean the settlement will go smoothly.
“I believe that we are probably much better prepared compared to that time.”
Up to 3,000 Syrian refugees are expected in B.C.
Story by Ken Paulin